Pubdate: Tue, 2 Mar 2004
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2004 The Gleaner Company Limited


UNITED STATES President George W. Bush has listed Jamaica among 24 
countries identified as chiefly responsible for the producing and 
trans-shipping of illicit drugs into the U.S.

The other Caribbean nations making the list were Bahamas, Haiti and The 
Dominican Republic. Twenty-four nations make up what is called the 'Majors 

In his annual report to Congress, released yesterday by the U.S. Embassy 
here in Kingston, Mr. Bush said the U.S. and Canada were the countries 
mainly targeted by the international drug barons.

Jamaica the Preferred Trans-Shipment Point

"We continue to work closely with the Government of Canada to stem the flow 
of illicit drugs to our countries and across our common borders."

The report cites Jamaica as the preferred Caribbean trans-shipment point 
for South American cocaine en route to the United States and the largest 
Caribbean producer and exporter of cannabis.

But, while acknowledging that the Jamaican Government has been co-operating 
fully with U.S. authorities to stem the flow of illicit drugs, the report 
cited areas where improvements were necessary.

"The Government of Jamaica has taken steps to protect itself against drug 
trafficking and other types of organised crime. However, the Government of 
Jamaica needs to intensify its law enforcement efforts and enhance 
international co-operation," the report stated.

"Corruption continues to undermine law enforcement and judicial efforts 
against drug-related crime and is a major barrier to more effective 
counternarcotics action."

The report also noted that while the Government has a policy of 
investigating credible reports of public corruption, Jamaica "has not 
prosecuted any senior Government officials for drug-related activities."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake