U.S. DEA: Óscar Naranjo appointed as a special agent

By Dialogo
October 27, 2010



WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – Gen. Óscar Naranjo, Colombia’s
national police chief, has been appointed as an honorary special agent of the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), agency officials said.
Naranjo’s appointment was conducted in a closed-door ceremony under tight
security measures during the 117th Annual Conference and Exposition of the
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), held this week in Orlando,
Fla.
The honorary designation is a demonstration “of our greatest appreciation,
gratitude and respect for Gen. Naranjo,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele
Leonhart, according to the Colombian website El Espectador.com.
Naranjo has been fighting narcotics trafficking for more than three decades
in the Andean nation.
“I receive [the recognition] on behalf of my government and on behalf of the
policemen who throughout the years have sacrificed their lives,” Naranjo said,
according to the Colombian website El Colombiano.com. “I receive it
on behalf of my 13 police officers who remain in captivity in the depths of the
jungle and on behalf of Colombians who have given us their support and confidence to
help us move forward in fulfilling our duty.”
Naranjo, who was recognized for his work in the fight against narcotics, is
focused on securing the release of 13 policemen who are being held captive by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).


El Salvador: Soccer team owner arrested

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – One of the owners of the Club
Deportivo Vista Hermosa soccer team has been arrested for his alleged participation
in a cocaine deal, police said.
Cristóbal Benítez Canales was among a group of four suspected of
participating in a deal that involved more than two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of
cocaine when they were apprehended inside a parked vehicle in the municipality of
San Carlos in the northeastern department of Morazán. It is unclear whether Benítez
was the buyer or seller, according to a police statement.
Police also raided Correcaminos stadium, the team's home field, as well as
four businesses owned by the Benítez family, according to The Associated
Press.

Nicaragua: Officials seize 87 kilograms of cocaine

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Police arrested six suspects and seized 87
kilograms (192 pounds) of cocaine following an inspection of a tour bus traveling
south on the Pan-American Highway, Commissioner Carlos Martínez, deputy chief of
police in the southern city of Rivas, said.
The narcotic was stored in 72 packages and concealed inside two caches. The
bus driver Santiago Antonio Castellón Portillo and five others were taken into
custody. The men had departed from the Peñas Blancas border post and were bound for
Costa Rica, Martínez said, according to the Nicaraguan website El Nuevo
Diario.com.


Brazil, Colombia and Peru agree on military cooperation

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Military commanders from Brazil, Colombia and
Peru have agreed to work together to strengthen their border patrols during a
meeting in the Colombian city of Leticia in the southern department of Amazonas.
The militaries will work to improve the exchanging of intelligence to stop
narcotics and weapons trafficking, as well as the illegal exploitation of natural
resources along the countries’ borders.
The militaries also will focus on fighting terrorism, as Colombian guerrillas
have been entering Peru through Putumayo, Peruvian Gen. Francisco Javier Contreras
Rivas said, according to the Colombian website Caracol.com.co.

Colombia: Eight kilograms of cocaine seized at international airport

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Authorities have confiscated eight kilograms
(17.6 pounds) of cocaine they discovered in a bed inside one of the main stores at
the international airport in the nation’s capital this past weekend, police
officials said.
Police said they were making routine checks when an officer noticed that the
back of the bed looked abnormal.
“After taking the bed to the scanner, the drug was detected,” police said,
according to the Colombian website Vanguardia.com.
The narcotics, which were handed to authorities, were destined for the U.S.,
where the drug had a street value in excess of US$240,000.
The cocaine’s owner is unknown, police said.
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