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Source Countries and
Drug Transit Zones: The Caribbean

Quick Facts
In the Central Caribbean, drug flights from Venezuela to Hispaniola increased from 27 in the first three quarters of 2004 to 82 during the same period of 2006, and numbered 81 during the first three quarters of 2007. The flow of drugs through Venezuela has increased fivefold, from 57 metric tons in 2004, to around 250 metric tons of cocaine in 2007. (Source: National Drug Control Strategy - 2008 Annual Report.)

The Caribbean, considered a natural bridge between North and South America, serves as a transshipment region for drugs destined for U.S., African, and European markets. Its strategic location and hundreds of islands and cays, combined with a large volume of both commercial and non-commercial air/maritime movement, makes the Caribbean an attractive region for drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) seeking to conceal their illicit activities.

To counter this threat, the United States Government seeks to dismantle DTOs operating throughout the region and stem the flow of illegal drugs, while expanding the level of cooperation with partner nations (through security cooperation initiatives and joint/combined operations) in order to strengthen law enforcement and judicial institutions, combat money laundering and corruption, and reduce violence in general.

In 2007, interdiction efforts throughout the Caribbean and other transit zone areas complemented efforts in the source zone, in Mexico, on the Southwest Border, and in the United States to create an unprecedented disruption in the U.S. cocaine market identified through analyses of drug price, drug purity, and other data.

For detailed reports on the drug trafficking situation in Caribbean countries please refer to the Caribbean section of the State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

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