Catch of the Day: Sacks of Cocaine!

The town of Bluefields in Nicaragua has a secret: its people don't have to work because every week, sometimes everyday, sacks of cocaine, tossed by drug traffickers avoiding US border patrol, drift in from the sea:

Bluefields is a creation of the gods of geography. Located halfway between the cocaine labs of Colombia and the 300 million noses of the United States, Bluefields is ground zero for cocaine transportation. Nicaraguan waters are near Colombian territorial limits, making the area extremely popular with cocaine smugglers using very small, very fast fishing boats. [...]

When the Americans get close, the traffickers toss the cocaine overboard, both to eliminate evidence and lighten their load in an escape attempt.[...]

Those bales of cocaine float, and the currents bring them west right into the chain of islands, beaches and cays which make up the huge lagoons that surround Bluefields on Nicaragua's Atlantic coast.

"There are no jobs here, unemployment is 85 per cent," says Moises Arana, who was mayor of Bluefields from 2001 to 2005.

"It is sad to say, but the drugs have made contributions. Look at the beautiful houses, those mansions come from drugs. We had a women come into the local electronics store with a milk bucket stuffed full of cash. She was this little Miskito [native] woman and she had $80,000."

Hujo Sugo, a historian of Bluefields, says the floating coke has created a new local hobby.

"People here now go beachcombing for miles, they walk until the find packets. Even the lobster fisherman now go out with the pretence of fishing but really they are looking for la langosta blanca - the white lobster."

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Hey, The Reverend Horton Heat had a song about that.

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Reverend Horton Heat - Bales of Cocaine

Well, I was workin' on my farm 'bout 1982,
Pullin' up some corn and a little carrot, too
When two low-flying aeroplanes, 'bout a hundred feet high
Dropped a bunch o' bales o' somethin', some hit me in the eye...

So I cut a bale open, an' man was I surprised
Bunch o' large sized baggies, with big white rocks inside
So I took a little sample to my crazy brother Joe
He sniffed it up and kicked his heels, said, "Horton, that's some blow!"

Bales of cocaine, fallin' from low-flyin' plane
I don't know who done dropped 'em, but I thank 'em just the same
Bales of cocaine, fallin' like a foriegn rain
My life changed completely by the low-flyin' planes

So I loaded up them bales in my pick-em-up truck,
Headed west for Dallas, where I would try my luck
I didn't have a notion if I could sell 'em there,
But, thirty minutes later, I was a millionaire...

Bales of cocaine, fallin' from low-flyin' plane
I don't know who done dropped 'em, but I thank 'em just the same
Bales of cocaine, fallin' like a foriegn rain
My life changed completely by the low-flyin' planes

And now I am a rich man, but I'm still a farmer, too
But I sold my farm in Texas, bought a farm down in Peru
And when get so homesick, I think I'm goin' insane,
I travel back to Texas in a low-flyin' plane...

Bales of cocaine, fallin' from low-flyin' plane
I don't know who done dropped 'em, but I thank 'em just the same
Bales of cocaine, fallin' like a foriegn rain
My life changed completely by the low-flyin' planes
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