Naval Base Targets Traffickers
By Dialogo January 01, 2010Navy boats were on display Dec. 1, in Isla Chapera, Panama, at the inauguration of Panama’s first naval base aimed at fighting regional drug traffic. The base is the first of 11 planned to cut maritime trafficking routes from South America to North America. The base will be operated by officers from the National Police, the National Naval Air Service and the National Border Service. Isla Chapera was owned by convicted criminal Jose Nelson Urrego. He was the chief of telecommunications for the Norte del Valle drug trafficking cartel, the Panamanian newspaper La Prensa reported. Urrego was arrested in 2007, and Isla Chapera passed to the Center for Seized Property and Funds of the Public Ministry.