But a new report on crime in the Caribbean region puts a spotlight on “disturbing trends” that impact Canada and suggests it’s time we pay more attention to what’s happening beyond the safety of resorts.
“The bottom line is that there are things Canada can do to assist the Caribbean region,” Cameron Ross, of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, said in Toronto Tuesday.
The author of the report, a retired Canadian Forces major-general, said the Caribbean has a serious crime problem and suggested Canada should learn from what’s happening in the region.
The report, released just days before the city’s 48th annual Caribbean Festival kicks off, looked at the long-standing and highly-lucrative drug trade in the Caribbean region.
But it also highlights the more recent emergence of human trafficking and money laundering, as well as ties between terrorist groups and drug cartels with links to the Caribbean.
In the early 1970s, about 10% of crime in the Caribbean was categorized as violent and Ross pointed out by the mid-80s that number soared to 41%.
He said much of the violence in the region, as it is in Canadian urban centres, can be traced to gangs.
But combatting gangs is “a complex problem.”
Like in Canada, Ross said young men in the Caribbean turn to crime when they are unable to find good paying jobs — largely because they didn’t stay in school. Continue reading