Colombian National Army Destroys Cocaine Laboratories

By Dialogo
February 12, 2015

Troops with the Colombian National Army recently destroyed three clandestine cocaine-producing laboratories in the departments of Antioquia, Nariño, and Valle del Cauca, the Army reported on its website.

Soldiers with the Army's Sixth Division dismantled a laboratory in the town of Turbo in the Department of Antioquia belonging to Clan Úsuga, one of the country's most ruthless narco-trafficking groups. Among other items, Troops seized a 55-gallon can containing processed coca.

Meanwhile, Troops with the Army’s Third Division discovered and dismantled two cocaine-producing laboratories in Nariño Department, where they confiscated 4,825 gallons of coca base and 150 kilograms of coca leaves at a drug processing lab operated by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). And in another operation, Soldiers discovered and dismantled a laboratory in Valle del Cauca containing 240 gallons of coca leaves.

Costa Rica names Gustavo Mata as Public Security Minister

Gustavo Mata will lead Costa Rica's international counter-narcotics fight after current Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa steps down from his post on February 16, announced President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Mata, the former Vice Minister of Public Security and former Deputy Director for the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), said he will strive to prevent violent crimes, including homicides and robberies, and improve nationwide safety. He pledged to continue working in cooperation with the Colombian and U.S. Armed Forces to bolster Costa Rica's counter-narcotics fight, and added that he will reach out to the OIJ and the Prosecutor's Office to gain insight as to how his ministry and the National Police can further their collaboration.

When Costa Rica disbanded its Armed Forces in 1948, the Coast Guard assumed responsibility for protecting the Central American nation’s waters. Nearly 90 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States comes through Mexico and Central America, according to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board.