Santos’ Administration Maintaining Momentum in Narcotics Fight

By Dialogo
December 16, 2010




Colombia: 5 tons of marijuana seized


BOGOTÁ, Colombia – President Juan Manuel Santos’ administration scored
a major victory in its fight against narcotics trafficking when it seized more than
five tons of marijuana in the city of Cúcuta in the department of Norte de Santander
near the border with Venezuela, officials said on Dec. 13.
The confiscations were made at a mechanics shop, where 2,280 kilograms (5,026
pounds) was seized, and during the search of a truck, where 2,350 kilograms (5,180
pounds) was stashed. Police arrested two suspects in connection with the narcotics
and seized the vehicle, according to the websites El Colombiano.com
and El Nacional.com.

Colombia: International narcotics ring dismantled


BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Counter-narcotics agents apprehended eight suspected
members of an international gang that produced cocaine and trafficked it throughout
the Americas, Europe and Asia, police said.
The organization was dismantled by the National Police’s Anti-Narcotics
Directorate (DIRAN), during a joint operation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration and Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office in the nation’s capital,
officials said, according to EFE.
The arrests followed officials’ dismantling last month of a laboratory in
Bogotá the gang used to produce cocaine.
The cocaine laboratory had the ability to produce 50 kilograms (110 pounds)
of the narcotic each week and was the first of its kind to be found in Bogotá, DIRAN
officials said, according to EFE.
Law enforcement officials also have dismantled four of the gang’s other
laboratories stationed throughout the department of Cundinamarca, of which Bogotá is
the capital.
The four labs manufactured 30 to 40 kilograms (66 to 88 pounds) weekly,
officials said, adding the narcotic was sent to the United States, Mexico, Spain and
Israel.

Peru: Police seize about 10 kilograms of cocaine at airport

LIMA, Peru – Counter-narcotics officials arrested a Filipina in
connection with nine kilograms and 940 grams of cocaine seized at the Jorge Chávez
International Airport (JCIA) in the province of Callao, about 16 kilometers (10
miles) northeast of the nation’s capital.
Carmen Balmacedas, 38, was arrested after police allegedly found the narcotic
mixed with coffee in plastic bags inside her luggage. Balmadecas, who was arrested
on drug trafficking charges, was preparing to board a plane headed to São Paulo,
Brazil, according to Peru.com.

Two Colombians convicted of narcotics trafficking


WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – Christian Fernando Borda and Álvaro
Álvaran-Vélez, two narcotics traffickers with ties to the Autodefensas Unidas de
Colombia (AUC), have been convicted by a U.S. District Court of conspiring to import
huge quantities of cocaine into the United States, according to the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration.
Colombian nationals Borda, 46, and Álvaran-Vélez, 56, were each found guilty
of one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine with the knowledge it would be
smuggled into the United States, following a seven-week trial in the nation’s
capital.
“These drug traffickers were responsible for facilitating the delivery of
tons of cocaine from Colombia into the United States, and today 12 U.S. jurors found
them guilty,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal
Division. “Over the course of many years, the United States and Colombia have worked
together to bring to justice in both countries the leaders and associates of these
dangerous organizations, and [Dec. 9] marked another milestone in that continued
effort.”
Borda and Álvaran-Vélez were extradited by Colombia to the United States on
Oct. 29, 2009 so they could stand trial for their alleged role in the trafficking of
many tons of cocaine from Colombia to the United States between February 2005 and
March 16, 2007.
The AUC is a Colombian paramilitary group that’s been labeled a foreign
terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State.

Enrique López, suspected Sinaloa narcotics trafficker, arrested


CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico – Enrique López, a suspected high-ranking drug
lord of the Sinaloa cartel has been arrested by police during an operation in which
his brother, narcotics trafficker Ever Horacio López, was fatally shot by law
enforcement officials.
Enrique López was apprehended in the town of Chihuahua during the night of
Dec. 12, when his brother died during a gunfight with the 800-member police force
that participated in the manhunt, officials said in a statement on Dec. 13.
Enrique and Ever are suspected of being lieutenants of alleged Sinaloa cartel
leader Joaquín Guzmán, one of the country’s most wanted men, who evaded authorities
in Chihuahua, according to Agence France-Presse.
Enrique’s apprehension and Ever’s death occurred nearly a year after the
Mexican President Felipe Calderón scored one of his biggest victories in the fight
against narcotics when Arturo Beltrán Leyva died in a gunfight against marines south
of the nation’s capital.
Nazario Moreno González, the head of the La Familia cartel, died along with
several of the narcotics trafficking organization’s members during a gunfight with
troops in the town of Apatzingan in the state of Michoacán on Dec 9.
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