The World

Drug traffickers have all but taken over the Bahamian island of South Bimini, chasing off U.S. patrol boats with gunfire and intimidating the Bahamian military, according to U.S. Customs Service reports and law enforcement officials. "The situation in South Bimini is near anarchy," one federal law enforcement official said of the island, which is about 45 miles east of Florida. "The drug smugglers alone control the island, and police corruption is obvious." U.S. drug officials have long complained that high-level officials of the Bahamian government are protecting drug smugglers, a charge the government denies. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate voted 57 to 40 to support President Bush's certification of the government of the Bahamas as fully cooperative in the war on drugs.

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