1.69 Tons of Seized Cocaine Incinerated in Guatemala

By Dialogo
September 25, 2009

Guatemala City, 23 September (EFE).- Law-enforcement authorities today incinerated 1.69 tons of cocaine coming from Honduras, seized on Monday in an operation near the Guatemalan capital. A spokesman for the National Civil Police (PNC), Donald González, explained to reporters that the incineration of the drugs, valued at more than twenty million dollars, was ordered by a judge. The shipment of cocaine was seized during an operation that began on Sunday and ended on Monday in the area around the Belice bridge, at the entrance to the city along the route to the Atlantic. The drugs were transported from Honduras in a container by five individuals who were captured during the police operation. According to the Interior Ministry, this contraband is the largest cocaine shipment seized in Guatemala in recent years. So far in 2009, according to sources in the National Civil Police, around 4,878 kilos of cocaine have been confiscated. The president of Guatemala, Álvaro Colom, urged law-enforcement authorities on Monday to incinerate the 1.69 tons of cocaine, due to how complicated it would be to keep the drugs in a warehouse. According to Colom, this amount of cocaine is a temptation, “because it’s too much money,” so that the best option is to destroy it in order to avoid it being stolen, as has happened on other occasions. U.S. authorities estimate that around 250 tons of cocaine pass through Guatemalan territory every year.