Indo-Canadian Community in Vancouver Struggles With Gang Violence

July 22, 2004

Source: The Washington Post

On July 22, 2004 The Washington Post reported, "In the past 13 years, police have reported 76 young men killed in the Vancouver area in gang-related violence. The authorities blame drug deals gone bad and local turf wars, mostly involving well-to-do young people of Indian descent. Immigrant community leaders in Vancouver complain of police inaction. Police say they have tried, but have been unable to develop leads that would stop the bloodshed. 'They are Indo-Canadians killing Indo-Canadians,' said Kash Heed, commanding officer of the 3rd Police District in Vancouver. 'Seventy-six murders...mainly within one ethnic group. The cycle of violence, we've not cracked it yet'...'The community is quite upset and worried about this violence and killing,' said Balwant Singh Gill, president of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, one of the largest Sikh temples in North America, with 37,000 members...The gangs deal mostly in marijuana, according to police, and specialize in a popular variety grown in the province called B.C. bud...In Blaine, Wash., Joe Giuliano, assistant chief at the local U.S. Border Patrol office, said 23 Canadian smugglers have been arrested on the U.S. side of the border this year. "Virtually all marijuana smuggling in the past fiscal year is either directly or indirectly tied back to the Indo-Canadian community," Giuliano said."