Thursday, 26 June 2008

The White Lobster

On a beach in Nicaragua, far away from the capital Managua, Eugenio sits content; he lives the Caribbean dream in a nice white Mansion. Barely literate, he used to be a fisherman. Life has been made easy.

Almost every day sacks of floating cocaine, 35 kilos each, drift in from the sea. Cocaine, tossed onto the open ocean by the smugglers, who fleeing from American helicopters try to eliminate the evidence on board their speedboats. Those bales of cocaine float, and the currents bring them 200 miles west right into the chain of islands, beaches and cays which make up the huge lagoons that surround Bluefields on Nicaragua's Atlantic coast. Bluefields is the midway point on the route taken by drug traffickers to reach to Acapulco in Mexico from Colombia.

The Nicaraguan government calls Bluefields an “autonomous area” as it is completely disconnected from the rest of the country. Unemployment is high at 85%, there is no police and the government never shows up, surprisingly violence is rare. Cocaine has created a paradise, where even the schools and churches are built from the money that comes from the fishermen and their finds.

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