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New article with VICE News about an unintended byproduct of narco-trafficking along the coast of Central-America

In Belize, large packages of lost cocaine – known to locals as the ‘Sea-lotto’ – are washing ashore of Trip Advisor’s #1 ranked island causing a Blood-Crip turf war in paradise.



The body was found on August 11, buried in a shallow grave on a beach in remote Ambergris Caye, an island off mainland Belize near the border with Mexico. The 57-year-old man’s throat had been slit and his body had multiple stab wounds. Police said he also bore signs of torture.

The victim, identified as Santiago Trapp, reportedly lived in a wooden shack that was burned down during his murder. This building was once known as a fishermen’s camp but, according to police, it had recently become a base for playadores, or beachcombers.

Yet these beachcombers don’t hunt for shells or buried treasure, but rather for parcels of drugs dropped into the ocean by traffickers. This makes Trapp another likely casualty in an ongoing narco turf war that is plaguing San Pedro, the island’s only town. Meanwhile, Ambergris Caye was ranked Tripadvisor’s number one island in the world for the second year in a row in February.

The Belizean police are not entirely sure when the phenomenon began, but authorities and residents agree that South American drug traffickers are “wet dropping” — leaving large parcels of cocaine in international waters at select drop points, where they float until being picked up by Mexican associates who then smuggle them north to the US.

When the packages are washed ashore in Ambergris Caye by changing tides and weather conditions, they are known as “sea lotto” or “white grouper,” Mayor Guerrero said.

The playadores are stationed by the gangs to patrol the beach and retrieve the parcels, which often leads to violent encounters with rivals. Finding shallow graves, like the one where Trapp’s corpse was discovered, has become a common occurrence here and Trapp’s death marks the sixth murder in the area this year. However, the current violence goes beyond a simple Bloods vs. Crips color war — instead stemming from the hunt for sea lotto. (READ MORE)


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