Once again the blood feud for control over drugs trafficked through Vieques Island, Puerto Rico has taken a life. Maybe more. Earlier this week gunmen opened fire on a small group of people leaving a bar in the early morning hours in the ‘Bravos de Boston’ section of the island.
Police and news reports allege the shooting which resulted in one dead, two critical and another injured (that’s 4 victims in all) was all about the drug trade. Competition and enforcement for control of the money and power that goes along with the drug trade often turns bloody as many inner cities in the U.S. mainland and many countries in Latin America have learned.
Yet Vieques’ small size and population exacerbate the problem. It also amplifies it. As we have reported several times on this blog, the lawlessness on Vieques Island is a danger to its residents and visitors.
While I advocate legalizing drugs and ending the insanity of the war on drugs; I also advocate the rule of law. I’m going to make an exception today and advocate for the safety and sanity of the residents and visitors to Vieques Island
I call on the highest ranking leaders of the drug organizations involved in the Vieques drug trade to sit down and have a meeting of the minds to end the bloodshed. This level of violence is not needed to carry out the business you are involved in. I further call on the people of Vieques to join this meeting and establish a memorandum of understanding.
If that means bringing in local police (which it probably does) to agree to whatever terms are necessary (in other words how much they want in bribes) then just do it. If that means the local drug dealers will help pay for improvements for the island or even share some of the money from their trade with the local citizens; then do it.
There is no sense in allowing this kind of bloodshed to continue to occur. That kind of profit sharing could make a huge difference in the economy of the island and vastly improve the quality of life of those who live there. My (Very) rough estimate is that at least one billion dollars in drugs travel through the Vieques connection each year. More than enough profit margin to take care of many of the needs of the islands residents. Enough already.
The meeting of the minds and memorandum of understanding should also cover issues like robbery, petty theft; armed robbery etc. Tourists to Vieques should be safe from violence and theft so they too can enjoy the natural beauty of the island and the local small businesses can also thrive and create jobs for people who don’t have any.
A peace treaty between the competing factions, profit sharing for the residents and an internal way to deal with crime will fulfill the dream of a Vieques paradise faster than any legislation or political action ever could.
In short, Vieques Island YOU CAN DO BETTER. The solution, is in your hands.
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