Nicaragua and U.S. Cooperate to Fight Drug Trafficking

Nicaragua and U.S. Cooperate to Fight Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
March 12, 2015




Nicaragua and the United States are cooperating in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in order to more effectively detect vessels transporting South American cocaine via the Central American isthmus.

The Nicaraguan Navy and U.S. security forces are participating in joint training to develop the best methods to detect aircraft and speedboats transporting cocaine from the drug-producing countries of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

Cooperation between the Nicaraguan Armed Forces and U.S. security forces has led to some large and important drug seizures. For example, in December, the Nicaraguan Navy seized 560 kilograms of cocaine as a consequence of Operation Martillo, a joint effort among 14 partner nations from the Western Hemisphere and Europe, including Nicaragua and the United States, through the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), to counteract drug trafficking in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.

In that operation, the crew from a U.S. Custom & Border Protection P-3 aircraft detected a small fishing boat used by drug traffickers about 150 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. The crew jettisoned 20 bales of cocaine, which the Nicaraguan Navy, in cooperation with U.S. security forces, later recovered. Salvadoran Naval Forces also supported the operation.

International cooperation to combat drug trafficking


Nicaraguan and U.S. security forces, as well as the Mexican Navy, cooperated to make a separate large drug seizure in December.

On December 22, Mexican Naval Intelligence issued a warning about a suspicious vessel, the speedboat,"Betty," which was equipped with two 75-horsepower outboard motors and was displaying an Ecuadorean flag.

The Nicaraguan Navy, in coordination with U.S. authorities, intercepted the vessel 85 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Corinto, one of the main Nicaraguan ports in the Pacific, located 148 kilometers northeast of Managua. Naval authorities located 28 packages filled with 630 kilograms of cocaine, which were tied to a motor three meters below the surface of the water. Naval authorities arrested three Ecuadorean nationals and a Colombian, and seized the cocaine and the speedboat.

The vessel had departed from Ecuador and was traveling towards the Gulf of Fonseca, which Nicaragua shares with El Salvador and Honduras.

The seizure was part of a joint operation between the Nicaraguan Navy and U.S security forces, "Christmas without Drugs," according to Nicaraguan Captain Gerardo Fornos, head of the Pacific Naval District.

Drug traffickers rely on maritime routes


Nicaragua is a key transshipment point for international drug traffickers who transport cocaine to Mexico, the United States, and other countries. About 90 percent of the cocaine destined for the U.S. market is transported by sea, mainly through routes off the coast of Central America.

Drug traffickers often hire some members of coastal communities, including some indigenous groups, to provide logistical support. Some indigenous people in remote areas work with drug traffickers to supplement their scarce income, according to the 2012 U.N. report “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean.”

With drug traffickers relying so heavily on maritime routes, international cooperation is crucial.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Nicaragua, as well as other Central American countries, is control of its air and sea space," according to retired Guatemalan Army Brigadier General Mario Mérida.

Operation Martillo, which was launched in January 2012, plays a key role in fighting international maritime drug trafficking in the region. SOUTHCOM's Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) oversees the participation of the United States in Operation Martillo.

“The result of the coordinated maritime interceptions by American country forces in combating international trafficking acts as a deterrent because it represents a considerable obstacle for the drug cartels,” Mérida said.

In particular, cooperation and training between the United States and Nicaragua "is very positive for Nicaragua," the retired brigadier general said.

To improve capabilities in the fight against drug trafficking and international organized crime, SOUTHCOM recently donated a solar energy system to the Nicaraguan Navy in the Miskitos Cays.





Nicaragua and the United States are cooperating in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in order to more effectively detect vessels transporting South American cocaine via the Central American isthmus.

The Nicaraguan Navy and U.S. security forces are participating in joint training to develop the best methods to detect aircraft and speedboats transporting cocaine from the drug-producing countries of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.

Cooperation between the Nicaraguan Armed Forces and U.S. security forces has led to some large and important drug seizures. For example, in December, the Nicaraguan Navy seized 560 kilograms of cocaine as a consequence of Operation Martillo, a joint effort among 14 partner nations from the Western Hemisphere and Europe, including Nicaragua and the United States, through the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), to counteract drug trafficking in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus.

In that operation, the crew from a U.S. Custom & Border Protection P-3 aircraft detected a small fishing boat used by drug traffickers about 150 miles off the coast of Costa Rica. The crew jettisoned 20 bales of cocaine, which the Nicaraguan Navy, in cooperation with U.S. security forces, later recovered. Salvadoran Naval Forces also supported the operation.

International cooperation to combat drug trafficking


Nicaraguan and U.S. security forces, as well as the Mexican Navy, cooperated to make a separate large drug seizure in December.

On December 22, Mexican Naval Intelligence issued a warning about a suspicious vessel, the speedboat,"Betty," which was equipped with two 75-horsepower outboard motors and was displaying an Ecuadorean flag.

The Nicaraguan Navy, in coordination with U.S. authorities, intercepted the vessel 85 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Corinto, one of the main Nicaraguan ports in the Pacific, located 148 kilometers northeast of Managua. Naval authorities located 28 packages filled with 630 kilograms of cocaine, which were tied to a motor three meters below the surface of the water. Naval authorities arrested three Ecuadorean nationals and a Colombian, and seized the cocaine and the speedboat.

The vessel had departed from Ecuador and was traveling towards the Gulf of Fonseca, which Nicaragua shares with El Salvador and Honduras.

The seizure was part of a joint operation between the Nicaraguan Navy and U.S security forces, "Christmas without Drugs," according to Nicaraguan Captain Gerardo Fornos, head of the Pacific Naval District.

Drug traffickers rely on maritime routes


Nicaragua is a key transshipment point for international drug traffickers who transport cocaine to Mexico, the United States, and other countries. About 90 percent of the cocaine destined for the U.S. market is transported by sea, mainly through routes off the coast of Central America.

Drug traffickers often hire some members of coastal communities, including some indigenous groups, to provide logistical support. Some indigenous people in remote areas work with drug traffickers to supplement their scarce income, according to the 2012 U.N. report “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean.”

With drug traffickers relying so heavily on maritime routes, international cooperation is crucial.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Nicaragua, as well as other Central American countries, is control of its air and sea space," according to retired Guatemalan Army Brigadier General Mario Mérida.

Operation Martillo, which was launched in January 2012, plays a key role in fighting international maritime drug trafficking in the region. SOUTHCOM's Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) oversees the participation of the United States in Operation Martillo.

“The result of the coordinated maritime interceptions by American country forces in combating international trafficking acts as a deterrent because it represents a considerable obstacle for the drug cartels,” Mérida said.

In particular, cooperation and training between the United States and Nicaragua "is very positive for Nicaragua," the retired brigadier general said.

To improve capabilities in the fight against drug trafficking and international organized crime, SOUTHCOM recently donated a solar energy system to the Nicaraguan Navy in the Miskitos Cays.


It's all done in detriment of humanity. I think it's good. Let's exterminate that poison
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