PHILIPSBURG–Stopping the flow of illicit drugs in the Caribbean is a team effort. Twenty-five years ago, the Royal Netherlands Navy joined Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) in Key West, Florida.
The Commander of the Dutch forces in the Caribbean took up the role of Task Group 4.4 CTG4.4 Commander and has been part of the international effort against illicit trafficking in the region ever since.
The Dutch Navy ship HNLMS Groningen recently visited Key West, where JIATFS Director Rear Admiral DeQuattro and Deputy Director Rear Admiral Keck were welcomed aboard to celebrate 25 years of close cooperation between The Netherlands and the United States.
As CTG4.4 the Dutch Navy helps to improve regional security. The smaller island states of the Caribbean, including the islands of the Dutch Caribbean, cannot fight organised crime and the flow of illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons on their own. International partnerships form the solution. In JIATFS, 20 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean regions work together to combat illicit trafficking.
In the Caribbean region most of the drugs smuggled are cocaine, on its way to the US or Europe. Often it comes together with illegal migration and gun-trafficking.
Violence related to drugs trafficking results in the loss of life of hundreds of people every year, many of whom are innocent. The drug problem weighs heavily on society, accounting for significant cost in health care, law enforcement and prevention.
Bron: Daily Herald