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2010-12-08

Brazil: Security forces seize three tons of marijuana

Brazilian police display narcotics, weapons and grenades recently confiscated during a raid at the Alemão do Complexo slum in Rio de Janeiro. (Bruno Domingos/Reuters)

Brazilian police display narcotics, weapons and grenades recently confiscated during a raid at the Alemão do Complexo slum in Rio de Janeiro. (Bruno Domingos/Reuters)

By Olga Vélez for Infosurhoy.com—08/12/2010

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Security forces recently confiscated three tons of marijuana in a housing complex in the Complexo do Alemão a week after about 2,500 police officers had descended into the slum to quell an uprising by suspected narcotics traffickers.

The marijuana had been stashed in a hidden room behind a fake wall in a residence in the area known as Fasendinha, one of the 15 slums comprising Complexo do Alemão.

The bust came after police and soldiers confiscated 33.8 tons of marijuana, 313.9 kilograms (692 pounds) of cocaine, 54 kilograms (119 pounds) of crack, and about two kilograms of hashish (4.4 pounds), as well as an array of assault rifles and grenades during a recent seven-day period that ended on Dec. 5, according to EFE.

Colombia: Police seize 105 kilograms of cocaine

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration scored a victory in its fight against narcotics when police recently seized 105 kilograms (231 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a shipment of fruit bound for the United States.

The narcotic was discovered in the cargo area of the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón airport in the city of Cali in the department of Valle del Cauca, said Col. Carlos Alfonso Aguirre, the head of the Department of Ports and Airports of the Narcotics Division.

Aguirre said the cocaine, which had a street value of about US$4.2 million, was initially headed for the island of San Andrés but “had as transit places countries in Central America, and the final destination would have been the United States.”

No arrests were made, but police have launched an investigation to determine who owned the cocaine, according to the Colombian websites El Colombiano.com and El Espectador.com.

Spain: Police arrest 24 suspected narcotics traffickers

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain – Eleven Colombians and nine Spaniards were among 24 suspected narcotics traffickers who were arrested during a nearly two-week operation carried out by the Civil Guard, officials said.

Authorities said the suspects allegedly worked for an organization that trafficked cocaine in the Formentera in the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

The operation resulted in the apprehension of 11 Colombians, nine Spaniards, three Algerians and a Romanian national, and authorities are pursuing at least five more suspects in connection with the case.

The Civil Guard seized a kilo of cocaine, €13,000 (US$17,227) in cash, and €40,000 (US$53,008) in property during the operation, according to the Colombian website El Colombiano.

Panama: Police seize more than two tons of cocaine

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Police arrested three suspects in connection with the confiscation of 2,030 kilos (4,471 pounds) of cocaine, a senior prosecutor said on Dec. 5.

Nataniel Murgas said the narcotic was seized during a traffic stop, when police discovered it hidden in a tank with a double bottom that was being towed by a van on Dec. 4. The police learned of the vehicle’s location because of a tip, he added.

The bust occurred at a checkpoint in Guabala, in the province of Chiriquí, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of the nation’s capital, Murgas said. Police arrested a Panamanian and a Mexican who were escorting the van in a pickup truck, as well as a Honduran national who was driving the van, EFE reported.

Law enforcement officials also confiscated three guns discovered inside the truck, according to a police report.

Panama’s security forces have seized 71 tons of narcotics, mostly cocaine, so far this year, according to the Public Safety Ministry.

Mexican officials to try alleged teenage killer as a minor

CUERNAVACA, Mexico – A 14-year-old boy who allegedly had a role in four beheadings on behalf of a drug cartel will be tried under a state juvenile law that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence if found guilty.

The juvenile court judge in the state of Morelos could have ruled the boy, known only has “Edgar,” be tried in federal court because of the severity of his alleged crimes.

The judge said national law allows him to take cases involving minors facing federal charges. Edgar, who goes by the alias “El Ponchis,” is facing murder, organized crime and other charges in the state of Morelos.

Edgar was apprehended last week along with his 19-year-old sister at an airport south of the nation’s capital. Officials allege he works on behalf of the Cartel of the South Pacific, an organization comprised of members who left the Beltrán Leyva cartel.

“I participated in four executions, but I did it drugged and under threat that if I didn’t, they would kill me,” the boy told federal prosecutors, according to The Associated Press.

Mexico: Federal Police arrest seven suspected cartel hitmen

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – The Federal Police have apprehended seven suspected gunmen who allegedly are members of the Gente Nueva, a group that works on behalf of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Federal Police officers confiscated five AK-47 assault rifles, about 300 rounds of ammunition and two vehicles from the suspects in the city that has become the country’s murder capital, the Public Safety Secretariat said, according to EFE.

Police arrested José Ángel Juárez, Héctor Triana Aldaba, Gilberto Román Arguijo Rosales, Ángel Horacio Valles Peña, Juan Carlos Ramírez Rodríguez, Cristian Raymundo Miranda Juárez and Julian Ernesto Ordoñez Oliva during the operation, the secretariat said, according to EFE.

José Ángel Juárez, Ángel Horacio Valles Peña, Juan Carlos Ramírez Rodríguez and Julian Ernesto Ordoñez Oliva have criminal records – for robbery and drug trafficking – according to the Federal Police’s Intelligence Center.

The arrests were carried out after Federal Police received an anonymous phone call about two vehicles with armed men in the neighborhood of Praderas de la Sierra, in the southern section of Ciudad Juárez, according to EFE.

The suspects, who range from 18 to 39, are mainly from the state of Chihuahua, home to Ciudad Juárez.

Gente Nueva has been locked in a turf war with La Línea, which has partnered with the Juárez cartel in the fight to possess the state’s lucrative smuggling routes into the United States.

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