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Gangs battle for cash; money used to buy guns, drugs, flashy cars United States authorities say that millions of dollars, tucked away by senior citizens for their retirement, are now ending up in the pockets of Jamaican crime syndicates. “It is a plague,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Bladismir Rojo, adding “when word-of-mouth spreads of free money, there is no way to put it out.” Rojo told reporters here late last month that lottery frauds, based in Jamaica, have exploded in popularity, with estimates that as much as $300 million will be bilked from U.S. residents, largely the elderly, this year alone. He said proceeds from the alleged swindles are used to buy guns, drugs and flashy cars in Jamaica, with gang members sometimes fighting and dying over the illicit cash.
January 12 2010 will go down as one of the most catastrophic dates in history. When an earthquake that hit the Richter scale at 7.0 hit the country of Haiti and left devastation in its wake. Estimates state that over 316,000 people were killed, 300,000 injured, just under million displaced, 97,294 houses destroyed and 188,383 damaged in the Port-au-Prince area and in much of southern Haiti*. Later we would hear about tens of billions of dollars collected by large NGOs for aid to help those impacted by the earthquake, yet tent cities that housed those displaced seemed to remain instead of there appear to be homes being built. Also stories of not much of the funds being spent on the ground began to surface.
For political historians, 2011 has provided lots of fresh fodder. Never before in the history of the Caribbean have there been general elections in two countries on the same date; coupled with a state of emergency in another; allegations of assassinations against two prime ministers; the surprise resignation of a prime minister, not to mention the democratic change of government in Haiti, all within a 12-month period. In addition, Barbados's Prime Minister Freundel Stuart warned leading members his administration that any attempt to derail his government would have "certain consequences." At the start of the year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves stunned Parliament with his disclosure of an alleged assassination plot against him by criminals. This statement followed public pronouncements by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace that the government would fall by the end of 2011.
- “The movie inspired the students, challenged them and encouraged them to persevere. On our ride home they chanted ‘we fight, we fight.’ I asked what are we fighting for and they responded their education and future.” – Principal Germaine Jackson DeCree, Lou Dantzler High School - To launch Black History Month, 3,000 students from Southern California School Districts attended a screening of Red Tails across 18 screens at the AMC Del Amo Theatre on February 1, 2012.
 A prominent think tank here says that the Caribbean is a "blueprint" for illicit drug trafficking at a time when it is being "heavily influenced" by organized Latin American criminal groups. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) outlined in a recent analysis that drug trafficking and related violence is on the rise throughout the Caribbean, noting that United States-Mexico border controls have been "profoundly tightened, resulting in a growing spillover of drugs into the wider Caribbean. "The Caribbean's natural landscapes and diffuse geographical locations make it appealing for drug traffickers who take advantage of such terrain that features long often uncontrolled coastlines and mountainous interiors for the growth and transportation of narcotics", COHA noted.
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