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Guatemala Seizes 335 Kilograms of Cocaine in the Pacific

Guatemala Seizes 335 Kilograms of Cocaine in the Pacific

By Lorena Baires/Diálogo
September 01, 2020

The Guatemalan National Civil Police (PNC, in Spanish) reported the seizure of 335 kilograms of cocaine on the Pacific coast on July 5. “We received information about a suspicious vessel, and together with international agencies that provide us with information, we proceeded to deploy a vessel from the Pacific Naval Command, specifically from our Naval Special Force to intercept it,” Guatemalan Army Major General Hugo Urbina, chief of the National Defense General Staff, said on Facebook on July 5. “We intercepted this vessel with three Guatemalan nationals on board.”

On July 6, the Guatemalan Army reported in a press release that the PNC and the Guatemalan Office of the Attorney General proceeded to prosecute the detainees. “Since we recovered our primary radar capabilities to detect suspicious movements in 2016, the air platforms we have for flyovers and the good communication with other countries in the region […] have enabled us to carry out seizures successfully,” Army Colonel Juan Carlos de Paz, Guatemalan Army spokesman, told Diálogo on July 9. “The majority of the leads are aerial, but this is the first seizure we’ve made at sea this year.”

This operation is part of an array of strategic actions known as Cooperative Security, promoted to strengthen international cooperation and information exchange. “The training and instruction that [U.S.] Southern Command provided to the [Guatemalan] Naval Special Force in 2017 was solid, and these actions reflect this,” said Col. de Paz. “There is also cooperation in this fight, with partner nations such as the United States and Colombia, with whom we seek to exchange information and establish common protocols and strategies to facilitate a comprehensive offensive against this scourge [of narcotrafficking].”

“Central America continues to be a bridge to smuggle drugs into the United States, and military authorities continue to direct their efforts to increasing operational capabilities,” Col. de Paz concluded. “We think that now we need to have air capabilities that will enable us to be more agile in reaching the places where light aircraft land or fly over the sea; there are large amounts of land and water that we need to cover.”