The large turn-out in St Vincent a week ago at the funeral of slain drugpin Dexter Chance who was gunned down in the Spice Isle is a reminder of the in-roads made by these elements involved in the illegal drug trade in the lives of the ordinary folks in the community.
The atmosphere resembled a funeral that was befitting that of a well-liked Prime Minister who died in office.
As one Vincentian Commentator pointed out Dexter Chance “was a legend who with all his faults had a big heart and shared his ill-gotten gains with his people.”
This is precisely what many Drug Lords do in order to insulate and secure themselves among the vulnerable and poor folks in the villages.
This has happened over the years in Grenada in places like La Potrie and Telescope where “the Don Man” controls things.
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) knew of the tremendous influence of one of the early Drug Lords in La Potrie who was given nothing but a slap on the wrist with a very light jail sentence in connection with possession of 45 kilos of cocaine in a sting operation involving the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States.
A few years ago another “Don Man” was gunned down in Telescope and was considered a hero in the small community as he gave generously to the “poor and vulnerable”.
It is well-known that there is a serious link and relationship between the Drug Lords and some politicians.
There is a growing trend in Grenada which is very much like Jamaica in which the Dudus Coke would control several communities with their ill-gotten financial gains from the illegal drug trade and engage in trade-offs with politicians on both sides of the political divide.
In recent years, there have been more than credible reports about the extent of “the drug dollar” in general elections in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
The “Don Man” will often provide the cash to some politicians to purchase rice, sugar, flour and the other basics used by the so-called “small man” on a daily basis for his/her family.
There are also reports that some of the older folks at the community level who benefit directly from the business will in turn provide a service to the drug man – “hold the goods” as the police will not normally suspect them of engaging in such activities.
In addition, the politicians who get involved with the “Don Man” will in turn have to ensure that they get a piece of the lucrative contracts and possible kick-backs from the money on offer.
The Dexter Chance of this world and their modus operandi have definitely exposed the failure of our politicians to improve the lives of the very people who elected them into office to look after their needs.
The drug lords are becoming increasingly more and more powerful in these small islands in the Caribbean and pose a serious threat to national security as their tentacles reach far and wide even with some of the Police Forces in these countries.
The United States itself is failing these islands in not addressing the drug consumption habits of North America which provides a ready market for drugs from these parts of the world.
It is well established that most of the drugs that pass through the Caribbean from Central and South America countries like Colombia and Venezuela are destined for the United States while a tiny drop in the ocean remains in these small islands.
Yesterday it was Dexter Chance and today the void might already be filled by another “Don Man” who knows what to do to keep “the fire burning” in these small and vulnerable islands.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing remarks on the expected appointment very soon of the Principal of the Presentation Brothers College (PBC) Dominic Jeremiah as the new Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education.
It is long overdue as Mr. Jeremiah has the qualifications and respect in the teaching profession for the job.
The previous government did a very poor job in the persons who were handpicked to serve the nation as CEO in education.
There was one in particular who had no standing among her peers in the teaching profession and was branded a “liar” by a former top government legal officer following a probe conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The Ministry of Education suffered like so many other ministries and departments from the breakdown that permeated all levels of the public service under the former regime.
The Congress government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell campaigned on a platform of Transformation and the PBC Principal fits the bill to help carry this out for the betterment of the education system.
The ball will soon be in the hands of Dominic Jeremiah to help reshape an education system that is badly in need of an overhaul in a global environment in which Science and Technology rules the world.