BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín and her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro recently met to discuss strengthening their countries’ relationship, improving border security and their fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Colombian Minister of Defense, Rodrigo Rivera, who also participated in the meeting, said communication between the countries’ militaries is integral to achieving better results against narcotics traffickers and armed groups.
“This is the main goal of the relations with Colombia,” Maduro said, according to the Colombian website Caracol.com.co.
Nicaragua: Navy arrests six suspected Honduran narcotics traffickers
BLUEFIELDS, Nicaragua – The navy apprehended six alleged Honduran narcotics traffickers as they were crossing a river in the southern part of the country along the Caribbean coast, officials said.
The alleged narcotics traffickers were suspected of using two go-fast boats to transport 2.5 tons of drugs, Navy Captain Juan Gutiérrez said at a media conference, according to the Honduran daily La Prensa.
The suspects, who allegedly were found in possession of six firearms, told officials they were working on agricultural and construction projects in the region, according to La Prensa.
Peru: Soldier, suspected guerrilla die in gunfight
LIMA, Peru – An army captain and an alleged guerrilla were killed in a gunfight in the department of Junín, according to the Armed Forces Joint Command.
Capt. Illich Montesinos, a member of the 22nd Engineering Brigade, was killed in a firefight along with an unidentified “narco-terrorist,” according to the command. The gunfight occurred when an army patrol found a Shining Path unit in Rondayacu, an area in the department of Junín, which is in the Valley of the Apurímac and Ene rivers (VRAE) region, according to EFE.
The command said suspected guerrillas could have been injured in the fight since soldiers found blood trails.
The government has offered a reward of $1 million soles (US$358,000) for information leading to the arrest of the guerrilla group’s high-ranking leaders.
Brazil: Police dismantle international organization of suspected drug traffickers
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – The Federal Police seized 82 kilograms (181 pounds) of cocaine and arrested 10 suspected members of a narcotics trafficking organization that had a presence in the country’s southern region.
The police conducted operations simultaneously in cities that included Gravataí and Gramado, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and Ponta Porã, Dourados, Três Lagoas and Campo Grande, in Mato Grosso do Sul.
The suspected traffickers, who officials said also did business in São Paulo and Paraná, are being held in the central prison of Porto Alegre and prisons in Mato Grosso do Sul, according to the Brazilian website Estadao.com.br.
Venezuela: Bolivarian National Guard seizes more than 800 kilograms of marijuana
CARACAS, Venezuela – The Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) has seized more than 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds) of marijuana in the state of Táchira, Gen. Franklin Márquez said.
The seizure occurred at a checkpoint in the western part of the country, where 21- and 23-year-old Venezuelan brothers were taken into custody by the military and handed to authorities, Márquez said, according to the Venezuelan website Noticias24.com.
The brothers said they were offered several thousand dollars to smuggle the drug from Colombia to Venezuela, Márquez said, according to the Venezuelan website El Nacional.com.
Venezuelan officials said they have confiscated more than 50 tons of drugs this year.
Panama: Military kills Colombian narcotics trafficker
PANAMA CITY, Panama –The Naval Air Service has killed a Colombian drug trafficker and apprehended two other suspected narcotics dealers during a gunfight in the waters near the Bahía Piña naval air station this past weekend, an official said.
One of the Colombians wounded has been identified as Héctor Hurtado, who was shot in the left leg, naval air service spokesman Vladimir Rodríguez wrote in an email.
Hurtado and the two other men exchanged fire with personnel aboard a naval air service speedboat and a patrol boat, Rodríguez said.
The Colombians were carrying an unknown quantity of narcotics on the boat and threw “some bales of suspected drugs overboard when they saw that they were being chased,” Rodríguez said.