Naval Special Forces Combats Drug Trafficking in Guatemala

By Dialogo
May 08, 2015



In an effort to combat drug trafficking along the Guatemalan coastline and in its waters, Guatemala’s Naval Special Forces (FEN, for its Spanish acronym) continue to coordinate their work with the Prosecutor’s Offices and the General Departmental Division of Counter Drug Analysis and Information (SGAIA).

“FEN’s mission is to perform maritime policing and Naval operations in Guatemalan territorial waters to contribute, along with other institutions, to stopping threats such as drug trafficking,” explained a lieutenant acting as FEN Operations Officer, who requested anonymity due to the nature of his drug enforcement work.

Since January 1, FEN has seized 322 kilograms of cocaine, valued at $4.1 million. One of the most recent operations occurred on April 20, when FEN officials intercepted two ships 40 nautical miles off the Pacific coast, in Puerto San José, Escuintla. The ships, identified as “Yennifer 2,” and “Lupita,” carried several plastic barrels containing 170 packets of white powder -- which law enforcement authorities, upon conducting field tests, identified as cocaine.

That bust adds to a track record of continuing success since FEN conducted its first major strike against drug traffickers in 2010. That year it seized 5,296 kg of cocaine valued at $66.2 million; and since then, it has seized millions of dollars of cocaine every year, culminating in 2,796 kilograms of cocaine in 2014.

FEN patrols nine square kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean; 93,000 square kilometers in the Pacific, and 253,000 kilometers of coastline, from the border with El Salvador up the border with Mexico. It can enter territorial waters up to 100 miles out -- and twice that with the logistical support of Coast Guard cutters, which are Guatemalan Navy vessels. Within that jurisdiction, specified by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it may perform interdictions and bring aground vessels and suspects.

From there, the Prosecutor’s Offices are responsible for verifying any material seized; once it has done so, the SGAIA -- member of Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC) -- can arrest the suspects and bring them before the courts. Twelve SGAIA members work alongside FEN's military service members, according to Edy Juárez, Vice Minister of Internal Affairs. Of its 82 Military service members, three are Officers, eight are Non-Commissioned Officers and 71 are Sailors.




In an effort to combat drug trafficking along the Guatemalan coastline and in its waters, Guatemala’s Naval Special Forces (FEN, for its Spanish acronym) continue to coordinate their work with the Prosecutor’s Offices and the General Departmental Division of Counter Drug Analysis and Information (SGAIA).

“FEN’s mission is to perform maritime policing and Naval operations in Guatemalan territorial waters to contribute, along with other institutions, to stopping threats such as drug trafficking,” explained a lieutenant acting as FEN Operations Officer, who requested anonymity due to the nature of his drug enforcement work.

Since January 1, FEN has seized 322 kilograms of cocaine, valued at $4.1 million. One of the most recent operations occurred on April 20, when FEN officials intercepted two ships 40 nautical miles off the Pacific coast, in Puerto San José, Escuintla. The ships, identified as “Yennifer 2,” and “Lupita,” carried several plastic barrels containing 170 packets of white powder -- which law enforcement authorities, upon conducting field tests, identified as cocaine.

That bust adds to a track record of continuing success since FEN conducted its first major strike against drug traffickers in 2010. That year it seized 5,296 kg of cocaine valued at $66.2 million; and since then, it has seized millions of dollars of cocaine every year, culminating in 2,796 kilograms of cocaine in 2014.

FEN patrols nine square kilometers in the Atlantic Ocean; 93,000 square kilometers in the Pacific, and 253,000 kilometers of coastline, from the border with El Salvador up the border with Mexico. It can enter territorial waters up to 100 miles out -- and twice that with the logistical support of Coast Guard cutters, which are Guatemalan Navy vessels. Within that jurisdiction, specified by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, it may perform interdictions and bring aground vessels and suspects.

From there, the Prosecutor’s Offices are responsible for verifying any material seized; once it has done so, the SGAIA -- member of Guatemala’s National Civil Police (PNC) -- can arrest the suspects and bring them before the courts. Twelve SGAIA members work alongside FEN's military service members, according to Edy Juárez, Vice Minister of Internal Affairs. Of its 82 Military service members, three are Officers, eight are Non-Commissioned Officers and 71 are Sailors.


It is to be hoped that the government of the U.S. will cooperate by having its country: minimize the use of substances harmful to health; it's time for a country that uses and exports psychotropic drugs to approximately 60 million consumers and which has a parasitic economy derived from drug trafficking. Integrate into the great World challenge. A World Without Drugs for World Peace.
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