By TAMARA McKENZIE,
The Nassau Guardian, September 19, 2006
The Bahamas was
again branded by the US Department of State on
Monday as a "major drug transit" country, mainly
because of its location between South America
(suppliers) and North America (consumers).
Embassy officials noted that the amount of drugs
shipped through The Bahamas during the 1980s, in
comparison to present day statistics, has
The Report on the
major drug transit or major illicit
drug-producing countries is released annually by
the US Department of State. The report contains
presidential determinations of those countries
that have "failed demonstrably" to make
substantial efforts during the past year to
adhere to international counter-narcotics
agreements and to take measures specified by US
The major illicit
drug producing and drug transit countries listed
by the US for the fiscal year 2007, include,
Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil,
Burma, Colombia, The Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Guate-mala, Haiti, India, Jamaica,
Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama,
Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.
The number of
countries listed this year has decreased from 22
to 20 after China and Vietnam were removed.
According to the
US Department of State, a country's presence on
the Majors List is not necessarily an adverse
reflection of its government's counter-narcotics
efforts or level of cooperation with the US.
One of the
reasons that major drug transit or illicit drug-
producing countries are placed on the list, has
to do with the combination of geographical,
commercial and economic factors that allow drugs
to transit or be produced, despite the concerned
government's most assiduous enforcement
David M. Foran,
the Narcotics Affairs Officer at the United
States Embassy, told the press on Monday that it
is possible for The Bahamas to be removed from
the US annual listing of major drug transit or
major illicit drug-producing countries if drug
trafficking continues to dry up in The Bahamas.
Mr Foran pointed
out that throughout the 1980s, some 70-80 per
cent of illegal narcotics (mostly marijuana and
cocaine) entering the US from South America were
smuggled through The Bahamas, but with the
re-establishment of routes, only 7-10 per cent
is now smuggled through The Bahamas.
However, he added
that he has noticed a trend concerning
marijuana-Jamaican nationals are cultivating it
on various secluded islands of The Bahamas.
Mr Foran said the
US has no intention of letting its guard down
when it comes to monitoring The Bahamas for
illegal narcotics, especially those islands that
are in close proximity to the US, such as Bimini
and Grand Bahama.
released by the Embassy yesterday indicated that
President George Bush has certified to Congress
that The Bahamas fully cooperates with the US
when it comes to fighting the war on drugs.
States appreciates the close law enforcement
partnership we enjoy with The Bahamas as we seek
to strengthen international efforts to reduce
the flow of illegal narcotics to our shores,"
the statement read.