May 11th, 2019

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Snow in the Azores?

In 2001, a smugglers’ yacht washed up in the Azores and disgorged its contents. The island of São Miguel was quickly flooded with high-grade cocaine – and nearly 20 years on, it is still feeling the effects.

Blow up: how half a tonne of cocaine transformed the life of an island


The coast near Pilar da Bretanha on the island of São Miguel. Photograph: Alamy

A product so valuable in the rest of the world was rendered almost worthless through abundance. “They had gold, but they didn’t know how to work with it,” Ruben Frias, the head of the local fishermen’s association in Rabo de Peixe, told me. There were rumours that housewives were frying mackerel in cocaine, thinking it was flour, and that old fishermen were pouring it into their coffees like sugar. No one knew how much of the stuff was still out there.

Click pic to read full article from THE GUARDIAN