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or are subject to a high import tariff in neighboring lands. But Latin American customs officers have elastic consciences, money goes a long way, and petty smuggling, amounting in the long run to surprisingly enormous sums, is carried on by means of the liners and coastwise vessels. Much if not the greater portion of this is done by aliens, by the crews and passengers of ships from Europe and ) the United States, many of whom would throw up their hands in horror at thought of smuggling goods into their own countries but consider it no crime nor anything to be ashamed of to rob the South American governments of their revenues.
But farther south, in Chile and the Argentines the professional smuggler again comes into his own. Here are two great progressive countries, each with innumerable industries and factories producing countless articles that are in demand, and with high import duties, and separated by the mighty Andes. An ideal spot for the contrabandistas, despite the hardships, the difficulties of crossing the mountain range by the snow-choked, narrow passes far above the clouds. Like conditions beget like results, and environment has a tremendous influence upon man and his life, and so it is not so very surprising to find the contrabandistas of the Chilean-Argentine border the almost exact counterparts of their fellows of the Pyrenees.
They are the same stout, hardy, leather-faced,
bearded men, clad in rough picturesque garments, muffled in cloaks or "ponchos;" reckless, dare-devil chaps as open-hearted and generous with the chance wayfarer as the Basques whose blood flows in the veins of many of them. And very like the guardias and carbineros of northern Spain are the Chilean officers of the law, the carbineros of the Andes, who pit their wits and their fighting qualities against the smugglers. But the Chilean contrabandistas differ from their Spanish prototypes in character and habits far more than in appearance. They draw the line at brigandage and, being far more energetic and ambitious rascals with more or less of Teutonic or Anglo-Saxon ancestry oftentimes, they are far better or worse smugglers, according to the point of view, than the easy-going temperamental Spaniards, while a goodly infusion of the Indian strain renders them stoical, possessed of dogged determination and persistence and the cunning of the savage. As a result, the carbineros who guard the passes have their work cut out for them, and were it not for the fact that there are few spots where man and beast may traverse the serried summits of the vast mountain range, their task would be well nigh hopeless.
Probably neither Chile nor the Argentine loses very greatly by the activities of these gentry, for the quantities of contraband they can transport are limited, and neither country produces much in the
line of extremely valuable and compact goods as do France and Spain. Wines and liquors are products of both countries and hence are scarcely worth smuggling, neither republic produces precious stones, and the bulk of smuggled goods consists of tobacco, cigars and articles brought overseas from Europe and the United States. Indeed, few of these smugglers could earn a living wage at running contraband alone, and mainly they are primarily cattle drovers, cargaderos or freighters who traverse the long miles across the mountains from one country to the other on legitimate business and carry on their smuggling operations as a side line. Neverthless they are true contrabandistas, representatives of a very ancient and romantic profession, and as picturesque as any of the clan.
That the slave smugglers still thrive and ply their despicable trade in some parts of the world is proved by the following item from London and which appeared in the N. Y. Herald of December 23, 1923:
LONDON, Dec. 23 (Associated Press).--Although the slave trade is commonly supposed to have been suppressed all over the world, two British warships, the Clematis and the Cornflower, have been engaged in suppressing this traffic in the Red Sea for the last two years. Not only have they succeeded in stopping most of the Red Sea slave trade but they have also stopped gun running which was occasionally attempted.
High prices are paid for slaves, who are generally captured from the coastal tribes and sold to the Arabs, who take their victims inland.
A communication from a member of the crew of the Clematis tells an interesting story:
"We had spent a period of two years in the Red Sea," he says, "witnessing very varied scenes of tropical life and experiencing the almost intolerable heat of two summers. The duties of the two Red Sea sloops are primarily to frustrate the diabolical bartering of humans which unfortunately still continues to a much larger extent than one is led to believe.
"On one occasion a dhow was detained which had been thus trading, but it is to be regretted that the occupants successfully evaded capture, and carried away with them the gold they had received for their slaves.
"It was, however, an exciting incident, for when we first tried to board they opened fire on our whalers. This necessitated the latter returning to the ship, and we eventually fired about eight rounds at the escaping crew.
"On another occasion a dhow was captured full of slaves, boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17.
"It was heartrending to stand by and see the hungry mites ravenously attack the bread we gave them. The dhow's crew endeavored to escape by jumping overboard and swimming ashore, but were successfully captured, and hopes are entertained that they got their full deserts."
SMUGGLERS OF THE ORIENT
TN the Orient, smugglers have always done a 1 lucrative business. Not only are Oriental countries given to levying excessive duties and placing embargoes upon merchandise, but their customs officers are notoriously susceptible to corruption and woefully inadequate to enforce the laws, while in addition, vast areas of uninhabited or sparsely settled country, with wild mountain ranges, great rivers or vast deserts along the boundaries, afford splendid opportunities for the smugglers. Perhaps it would be no exaggeration to state that smuggling has become a more nearly legitimate profession, if any illegitimate profession may be regarded as legitimate, and has been carried on more universally in the Orient than in any other portion of the world. And incalculable quantities of smuggled goods always have been and probably always will be smuggled in and out of the countries of the far and near East. The Mediterranean has