Crime in The Caribbean Part 1
The entire Caribbean region is spinning into a dangerous whirlpool of crime from whence it may never return. It is now accepted by regional and international agencies, that crime is becoming a major obstacle to national development and if allowed to increase, may very well have negative effects on foreign investment.
Many Caribbean nationals both home and abroad, yearn for a time when they could leave their homes, venture far and wide, and return to find their properties intact. We are afraid to inform them that dwelling in the land of nostalgia will not solve the crime problem.
We have no doubt that the increase in crime, has its genesis in the use of illegal drugs and the illegal drug trade. It is known that when the use of illegal drugs, started to rear its ugly head in the 1970’s, governments dismissed the trend as nothing more than students returning from the university of the West indies campus in Mona Jamaica. When that excuse became stale they then focused on the Rastafarian community accusing them of spreading the use of marijuana throughout the region.
However, progressive social scientists, were trying to point out that the fledging drug culture was a result of the then growing tourists industry and the influence of foreign lifestyles. Many hotel workers can attest to the fact that some tourists, on arrival, openly asked about the availability of drugs such as cocaine. The roots of the hardcore drug trade were very firmly being planted. Of course the belief that the finest” weed” was to be found in the Caribbean was also a factor.
The shift from the agricultural base to the tourist and service industries brought with it many negatives. We put the pursuit of the “almighty” dollar and the desperate need to raise foreign exchange, before the proper and progressive development of our economies, societies and communities. We abandoned the concept of productivity, diligence, neighbourliness and family, as we adjusted our mentalities to the individualistic norms of the developed countries. Our leaders discarded our true identity and allowed the building of hotels to replace the building of the emerging Caribbean citizen, with the fragrance of independence fresh in their nostrils. We threw out the baby with the bath water.
As we opened our sea and air ports to millions of foreigners, we also opened our countries to a brutal foreign cultural penetration. While we do not blame the tourist industry exclusively, we cannot deny that the new model of development, dramatically brought about a very defining change in our countries and civility toward each other stated to disappear.A perfect breeding ground for crime because many citizens began to feel marginalized.
Next: The crime trends.