1. Huck
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    Huck Member

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    Tropical Island with a criminal element

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Huck, Sep 21, 2013.

    While I'll most likely invent the island & it's name I feel the general location is very important to build the characters & story realistically.

    The criminal element that operates in the area should be much bigger than just a local gang, so I'll most likely go with drugs or human trafficking unless you have some ideas of something a little less mainstream so it would intrigue the reader more so - the story is not focused on this criminal element but I like to be realistic.

    My biggest gripe with just picking a random area is that a well traveled reader may find it a bit silly if I plop my fictional island amongst a highly populated tourist area or the area is just totally wrong for the type of criminal element. So I guess it needs be an in an area that may be considered sort of lawless or highly corrupt.

    Though I dont really like the idea of terrorism as that would restrict them to being a religion of some sort...

    Any ideas will help me to narrow down my research...
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do language, government, or local culture need to be considered?
     
  3. Huck
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    I guess it needs to be plausible that the government in the area is inadequate at protecting there borders or corrupt enough to not care...
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm not quite sure I'm following your question, but I'd start with the country this island is part of. If you don't want terrorism, check out South America. There's plenty of drug running and human trafficking currently in that neck of the planet, and more than a few not-yet-ready-for-prime tourism islands and remote areas.
     
  5. Huck
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    Yeah I guess South America is the only option apart from Asia, there's Belize/Honduras coastline but Venezuela is further form the US & borders Colombia so it must be a hotbed of criminals.

    They do call Americans "gringo's" in most of the countries in that area?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    gringo originated in spain, so it's not surprising it would migrate to all spanish-speaking countries... it's also a portuguese word, so brazilians would most likely also be using it...
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I heard that "gringo" originated with the Mexicans in and near southern California. The European missionaries would sing and sing, and a popular "hymn" at the time was "Green Grow the Lilacs." Hence the Mexicans mockingly called the white European settlers "gringos" (greengrows).
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    SNOPES says that origin is false. Maia is right in that SNOPES cites first use of the word can be found in the Spanish language on the European continent at least as far back as the 1700s.

    My experience is that I haven't heard the term used in a Latin country or in an Hispanic community in decades. Wreybies might know as he lives in Puerto Rico.

    As for tropical islands off South America, don't dismiss the west coast.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are uncounted folk etymologies for the source of gringo. I've heard the Green Grows the Lilacs, but the more popular one is that it's a corruption of "green go" or "green coat", both referring to the green army jackets of American serviceman. The idea being that the hispanic person using gringo is telling the Yank to get out. Again, folk etymologies. I don't think anyone really knows the source. As Ginger correctly states, it's a bit of an older person's word. These days one is more likely to hear simply americano or norteamericano in a rather loose, blanket sense for all anglos regardless of actual nationality. You do still hear gringo, but not as much.

    BTW, if you want a tropical island with a criminal element, you need look no further than the local whence I type these words. Puerto Rico. Crime here is rampant. Drug dealers set up little tables, outside on the street called puntos, and sell drugs without the slightest pretense of hiding what they are doing. There is currently a federal task force being put together here on the island. Under investigation is the local judicial system and Puerto Rico Police. Why? Because corruption is the norm, not the exception. I work as a translator for the DA's office here in PR. I have already been alerted that work will be coming my way from this task force, and to please keep myself available. ;)
     
  10. Huck
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    Sounds like your living the dream there in Puerto Rico - well as long as you keep yourself safe...

    the discussion behind "gringo" is quite interesting... Surprisingly google had my answer as to if its still commonly used:

    “My policy is zero tolerance to gringo aggression against Venezuela. I'm not going to accept any aggression, whether it be verbal, political, or diplomatic. Enough is enough. Stay over there with your empire, don't involve yourselves anymore in Venezuela,” he said. - Venezuela President

    "Gringo Timothy Hallet Tracy, who was captured spying in our country, has been expelled from national territory," he wrote, using the word "gringo," a pejorative term for Americans.
    I'll use Venezuela, i like how they have an official exchange rate, which is much lower than what the average person will exchange for you (the black market rate) but I won't go into too much detail on the small private islands location in the story, just that its in the Caribbean sea, perhaps its disputed as to what country actually controls it & that is why its used by human traffickers sneaking around in fishing boats.

    Perhaps when my innocent gringo main character discovers the extent of the human trafficking on his island he can play one country against the other or something like that in order to get out alive...

    The best part though is I like the diversity of woman in the area - brazilian, puerto rico, dominican... Anybody want to fund my research trip? ah it was worth a try.. :p
     
  11. MrPizzle
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    Instead of human trafficking (the film with Liam Neeson in it, several video games and or medias have done this before), why not the organ trafficking? It's disturbing, very very real and it's horrific. The idea of waking up in hospital with no idea of what happened last night only to be told by a doctor that you were drugged, kidnapped and had your kidney stolen scares the jeebies out of me.

    The story of a chinese boy who supposedly had his cornea's taken for organ harvesting (he was just randomly targeted I believe) sent shivers down my spine.
     
  12. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Are you talking about the movie Taken when you mentioned Liam Neeson?
     

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