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Old 03-25-2019, 05:39 AM   #21
Icelander
 
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Default Sources in the Carbbean for Skilled Fighters?

Where in the Caribbean would one find numerous boxers or MMA fighters looking for opportunities?

I'm talking people with skill levels as close to professional as possible, numerous enough so that a few of them taking a job elsewhere and not returning would not immediately cause notice.

Are there any areas in the Caribbean with a strong amateur MMA scene?
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:41 AM   #22
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Everywhere? Most of the islands have established martial arts traditions. Cuba has Mani, Haiti has Pinge, Jamaica has Bangaran and Machete, and Puerto Rico has everything the continental US possesses.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Everywhere? Most of the islands have established martial arts traditions. Cuba has Mani, Haiti has Pinge, Jamaica has Bangaran and Machete, and Puerto Rico has everything the continental US possesses.
Ok, so if an entertainment company had recruiters in half a dozen cities in the Caribbean, looking to book a steady diet of promising prospects, over-the-hill fighters and down-on-their-luck contenders with high Brawling, Boxing, Judo, Karate and/or Wrestling skills in GURPS terms, where would they focus their efforts?

For the most part, I imagine they'd want to avoid US citizens, as the mammoth resources of US intelligence, security and law enforcement authorities are not something anyone wants to provoke unnecessarily. Besides, compared to a lot of Caribbean nations, I get the feeling that the US is quite orderly, bureaucratic and strict, making it much harder to have people with connections there simply fall off the radar.

Yes, it happens there, quite a lot, but usually not to boxers or MMA fighters just outside the level where they start to make money from their pursuit. On the other hand, given that most of the Caribbean fighters are looking to join a gym in the US or to break into fighting there (because that's where the money is), perhaps a few fighters with ties there might have disappeared.

But the majority of the 'lost' fighters should come from poor neighbourhoods in Caribbean countries, where their friends and family are unlikely to be able to convince anyone with access to significant resources to investigate.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:15 PM   #24
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

The largest cities in each of the island nations should have plenty of amateurs, B-class professionals, and retired A-class professionals who blew through their earnings or made bad investments. In Kingston alone, you could probably recruit a dozen good (not great) fighters every week for a promise of $10,000 each ($100,000 if they win). Enough would have to come home afterwards so that the pool would not dry up, but someone wealthy enough to offer $500,000 in prizes a week could get a lot of people eagerly participating despite the risks involved.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:46 PM   #25
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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The largest cities in each of the island nations should have plenty of amateurs, B-class professionals, and retired A-class professionals who blew through their earnings or made bad investments. In Kingston alone, you could probably recruit a dozen good (not great) fighters every week for a promise of $10,000 each ($100,000 if they win). Enough would have to come home afterwards so that the pool would not dry up, but someone wealthy enough to offer $500,000 in prizes a week could get a lot of people eagerly participating despite the risks involved.
Funny you should mention Kingston.

One player objects to other players having few available times to play and now travelling abroad and desires a 'spinoff' campaign. I told him that creating an all new campaign world and cast of characters for him alone is a bit much, but he could have a disposable PC for a 'cold open' mini-adventure for the next storyline.

In the interest of the character actually having a decent chance to be involved in an adventure, I figured that he probably wouldn't be any kind of realistic expert investigating disappearances, largely because real investigative work is mostly performed in an office, through phones and computers, with the occasional visit to a hotel bar to pay a local contact for information. Instead, the disposable PC would be a local hired through another local to attempt to find out where fighters were disappearing to by trying to be hired by whatever mystery employer might be involved.

After being told that there was no need for him to be a Puerto Rican ex-cop or an ex-Ranger, and, in fact, it made it much less likely that anyone would consider the character suitable, the player wanted to be a Jeet Kune Do or Kung Fu stylist. Upon learning that people in poor neighbourhoods, who can disappear without anyone caring very much, are significantly less likely to have had a fancy hobby that costs money than they are to have pursued a popular competative sport like boxing or MMA in the hopes of making a living at it, the player suggested several other unsuitable backgrounds.

Finally, in light of the fact that there are actually some Chinese immigrants in Kingston, I suggested that the character could be a Chinese-Jamaican who grew up around a Wing Chun dojo and competed in BJJ and kickboxing before getting involved with drugs, gangs and general never-do-welldom. Now estranged from his parents and teetering between a future as an MMA contender or a violent criminal.

Significantly more 80s martial arts movie than necessary, but I suppose it's theoretically possible.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:15 PM   #26
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

This is sadly really feasible.

Living in Hawaii, a United State, with an active public police force, I was constantly astounded at the very illegal stuff that was constantly going on just out of sight in the sugarcane fields; drag races on private property, underage parties with drugs, large-scale drug operations, unlicensed porn shoots. Islands are big places with small populations and police forces tend to concentrate on what goes on at the resorts.

If you're on an island territory of a developing nation , on private land and out of plain sight, you can get away with a lot. You could send town cars to the local resorts and pick up guests to come out to the secret bloodspoort arena tent, have unlincenced betting, sell cocaine, rent girls, rip tags off mattresses. If you're a rich landowner with friends at the resorts the police aren't going to cross you without a reason. And the Resort security will deliberately not look into what you do unless a guest dies at your little events. The only things you have to protect yourself from is injured fighters who want to become whistle-blowers and reporters trying to spy on your events for an expose'. Vette your guestlist for the fights and don't allow unannounced guests. Make sure you leave room in the shallow graves for the fighters that lose and any reporters your security goons find trespassing on the grounds.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:02 PM   #27
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

The best way to get around fighter complaints is to provide them with basic medical services and an injury bonus. If you agree to pay $1,000 for a lost finger to $100,000 for a lost life, you will have people willing to risk death (especially if they are from Cuba, Haiti, or even Jamaica). You are probably making enough on the side from your cut of the drugs and prostitutes to justify the expense.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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The best way to get around fighter complaints is to provide them with basic medical services and an injury bonus. If you agree to pay $1,000 for a lost finger to $100,000 for a lost life, you will have people willing to risk death (especially if they are from Cuba, Haiti, or even Jamaica). You are probably making enough on the side from your cut of the drugs and prostitutes to justify the expense.
Well, the money itself is no problem, but in general, the weakpoint of supposed secret conspiracies usually lies in the difficulty of laundering large sums of money.

Paying the money legally creates an electronic trail to whoever is ultimately responsible, which is less than desirable. Paying in cash is not only rather inconvenient from a practical standpoint, but also likely to lead to problems for surviving fighters. I imagine quite a lot of hospitals would raise eyebrows at people trying to pay for extensive reconstructive surgery in cash and numerous cases of it would probably be relatively easy to link.

I realize that there is no way to keep such an operation effectively secret forever, but I'm not sure that paying out that much to injured fighters is any less likely to lead to ultimate discovery than simply having them disappear, especially if you can have someone of similar ethnicity, size and build use their passport and any credit cards to take a short trip that ensures the last sign of them is in another country.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:38 PM   #29
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
This is sadly really feasible.

Living in Hawaii, a United State, with an active public police force, I was constantly astounded at the very illegal stuff that was constantly going on just out of sight in the sugarcane fields; drag races on private property, underage parties with drugs, large-scale drug operations, unlicensed porn shoots. Islands are big places with small populations and police forces tend to concentrate on what goes on at the resorts.

If you're on an island territory of a developing nation , on private land and out of plain sight, you can get away with a lot. You could send town cars to the local resorts and pick up guests to come out to the secret bloodspoort arena tent, have unlincenced betting, sell cocaine, rent girls, rip tags off mattresses.

If you're a rich landowner with friends at the resorts the police aren't going to cross you without a reason. And the Resort security will deliberately not look into what you do unless a guest dies at your little events. The only things you have to protect yourself from is injured fighters who want to become whistle-blowers and reporters trying to spy on your events for an expose'. Vette your guestlist for the fights and don't allow unannounced guests. Make sure you leave room in the shallow graves for the fighters that lose and any reporters your security goons find trespassing on the grounds.
I imagine that there would be an offshore holding company that owned the land and the glitzy resort. But yes, effectively, whoever was ultimately responsible would have private security and resort staff especially chosen to allow a wide variety of illegal activities.

Essentially, the desired outcome would be an island where the laws of whatever nation state nominally claimed jurisdiction applied only theoretically and in actual fact, law enforcement only visited after asking for an appointment, very politely, and wouldn't dream of looking anywhere they were not wanted.

Most importantly, customs and border control would need to be extremely perfunctory, so that fighters, some selected sex workers and various recreational chemicals could arrive by boat without the need for any paperwork. Are luxury yachts customs inspected when they arrive at private docks and if so, where in the Caribbean could one reliably and discreetly purchase excemption to such hassles?
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:58 PM   #30
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Default Re: [MH] Underground Fights in a Tourist Resort in the Caribbean?

Illegality is in the eye of the beholder. Bribes can shut down political and law enforcement investigations quite easily outside the developed world, and most people are willing to sell themselves for very little. As for tracing the money, that only works if someone has jurisdiction within the nation where the money transfers are occurring.

When you are talking about an illegal bloodsport operation, there are multiple streams of revenue. First, the ticket sales themselves. Second, the Internet streaming on the dark web. Third, the hotel accommodations. Fourth, the prostitution. Fifth, the drugs. Sixth, blackmailing clients who kill the prostitutes. If you have expenses of $4 million per week, you only need 1,000 visitors spending $5,000 a week on tickets, accommodations, prostitution, and drugs to make a 25% profit, which is a quite modest expense for the wealthiest 0.1% (around 2,500,000 households globally, most from the developing world). Any money that you make from streaming and blackmail is just a cherry on top.
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