Venezuela extradites suspected narcotics traffickers to U.S.

By Dialogo
September 22, 2010

The Mexican Federal Police detained five people involved in a money-laundering network for a Mexican drug cartel, and also accused of being a member is a cousin of the president of Panama. The Ministry of Public Safety and Security (PSS) announced on Thursday in a statement that the three men and two women were detained in various areas in the center of the country accused of joining an organization dedicated in the transport of dollars from Mexico to Panama for the Beltran Leyva brothers cartel. Since the end of 2009 17 suspected members of that network have been detained, including Ramon Ricardo Martinelli Corro, second cousin of the current President of Panama. Martinelli Corro faces proceedings from a Mexican prison for organized crime and money-laundering. The authorities have said that the trafficked money by the network allegedly comes from criminal activities of the Beltran Leyva brothers cartel who in the past years have received huge setbacks including the death of its leader Arturo.

CARACAS, Venezuela – Suspected narcotics traffickers Jaime Alberto
Marín Zamora and Omar Guzmán Martínez have been extradited to the United States by
Venezuelan authorities, Tarek El Aissami, Venezuela’s Interior Minister, said.
“We view the arrest and transfer to the United States of two major
narco-traffickers, Jaime Alberto Marín and Omar Guzmán Martínez, by Venezuelan
authorities as a valuable and positive development,” the U.S. Embassy in Caracas
said in a statement. “These are very dangerous, violent individuals with outstanding
warrants in the United States. The Venezuelan police officers who made these arrests
demonstrated excellent police work in bringing these two drug traffickers to
The suspects were placed in the custody of U.S. officials at the
International Airport of Maiquetía Simón Bolívar. Marín, who goes by the alias “Beto
Marín,” is suspected of being a member of the Norte del Valle cartel. The
48-year-old Colombian, who was arrested in Venezuela on Sept. 17, has been accused
of drug trafficking, money laundering and criminal conspiracy in the U.S., El
Aissami said.
Guzmán, a 38-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, was apprehended in
Caracas on Aug. 25. “He has been wanted by the United States since March 19, 2009,”
El Aissami said.
Guzmán is expected to be tried in New York on cocaine-trafficking charges.

Colombian authorities destroy drug lab

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – The army, navy and air force destroyed a drug
laboratory and seized an array of weapons that are suspected of belonging to the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN)
in the department of Cauca.
Officials discovered weapons, explosives and more than 9,000 rounds of
ammunition – many of which had been injected with cyanide – in a deposit near the
municipality of El Tambo.
“This ammunition will no longer harm the security forces or civilians,” Jairo
Herazo, chief of the Joint Command of the Pacific, told reporters, according to the
Colombian daily El Espectador. “It is a heavy blow. They can have
guns, but they can’t shoot.”
Meantime, in a rural area of the municipality of Argelia, officials destroyed
a drug laboratory after seizing 666 kilograms (1,465 pounds) of cocaine, chemicals
and laboratory equipment. Herazo said officials faced no resistance but made no
arrests during the operations, according to El Espectador.

Colombian police apprehend suspected narcotics traffickers sought by U.S.

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Phanor Arizabaleta Arzayús and Mario Germán
Satizábal, two major suspected narcotics traffickers, were arrested in the
southwestern city of Cali, Gen. Óscar Naranjo, the national police director, said.
Arizabaleta, 72, has already served jail time in Colombia for drug
trafficking, but he spent most of his sentence under house arrest because of his
failing health.
U.S. officials want Arizabaleta extradited because he's suspected of playing
a major role in helping the Cali cartel supply about 80% of the cocaine consumed in
the U.S. during the 1990s, according to EFE.
The Cali cartel's initial leaders, brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez
Orejuela, are incarcerated in the U.S. Meantime, Mario Germán Satizábal, is
suspected of being a high-ranking leader of the Norte del Valle cartel, Naranjo
said, according to EFE.

Panama: More than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine seized

PANAMA CITY, Panama – The National Police said it confiscated an SUV
filled with 527 kilograms (1,159 pounds) of cocaine near the Bridge of the Americas,
which crosses the Panama Canal, officials said.
The police also confiscated 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of the narcotic
during an operation with the country’s Aeronaval Service and the counternarcotics
prosecutor's office in the province of Colón, according to the Panamanian daily
La Prensa.
Officials are searching for the traffickers who owned the cocaine, which is
expected to be destroyed.
Panamanian officials have incinerated more than 25 tons of drugs so far this
year, according to EFE. This past weekend, police destroyed 1,500
kilograms (3,300 pounds) of cocaine and 890 kilograms (1,958 pounds) of marijuana
that had been confiscated.

Colombian authorities seize 400 kilograms of cocaine

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian authorities recently seized 400 kilograms
(880 pounds) of cocaine being transported on a truck in the nation’s capital,
officials said.
The narcotics, which had a street value of about US$30.8 million, is
suspected of belonging to trafficker Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, also known as
“Cuchillo,” one of the five most wanted drug traffickers in Colombia, according to
the Department of Administrative Security (DAS).
Police arrested two in connection with the truck and handed them over to the
National Antinarcotics Unit, according to the DAS statement, as reported by the
Colombian news website

Colombia: Navy seizes more than US$1.1 million in suspected drug money

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Naval officials said they seized about 2 billion
pesos (US$1.1 million) they suspect belonged to narcotics traffickers at the
southwestern port of Buenaventura.
The cash, which was separated into bundles of bills worth 50,000 pesos
(US$27.80) each, was discovered during an inspection of a passenger boat destined
for the municipality of López de Micay, in the department of Cauca, the navy said in
a statement.
Coast Guard officials arrested two crew members who, along with the money,
were turned over to prosecutors in Buenaventura, according to the Colombian daily
El Colombiano.
The seizure marks another major victory for President Juan Manuel Santos.
Last week, the National Police confiscated about 43 billion pesos (US$24 million)
discovered in a vehicle suspected of being owned by narcotics traffickers. Earlier
this month, officials confiscated US$28 million in suspected drug money that was
collectively found inside three cars in the nation's capital, according to