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2011-03-30

Colombia: Multinational operation seizes 2.7 tons of cocaine

By Ezra Fieser and Olga Vélez for Infosurhoy.com—30/03/2011

Mexico: Drug war has displaced 230,000.

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Bolivian law enforcement agents recently seized 194 kilograms (427 pounds) of cocaine that entered the country from Peru, officials said. (David Mercado/Reuters)

Bolivian law enforcement agents recently seized 194 kilograms (427 pounds) of cocaine that entered the country from Peru, officials said. (David Mercado/Reuters)

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Three Colombians and two Hondurans were arrested aboard an unflagged vessel suspected of transporting 2.7 tons of cocaine near the Colombian island of San Andrés, officials said.

The arrests and seizure, which were carried out during Operation Daga, were the result of a joint effort among the coast guards of Colombia, the United States, France, Honduras and Nicaragua, according to the website El Colombiano.com.

Since the five detainees were intercepted by French authorities aboard an unflagged vessel in international waters, they were subsequently taken, along with the drugs, to the French island of Martinique and handed over to local authorities, according to La Prensa.com.

Mexico: Drug war has displaced 230,000

MEXICO CITY – The country’s fight against narcotics has displaced about 230,000 people, with about 50% of them seeking refuge in the United States, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

The institution’s report was based on studies by Mexican researchers, as the Mexican government doesn’t maintain official figures related to the displacement of its people.

“Independent surveys put their number at around 230,000,” the report said, according to The Associated Press. “An estimated half of those displaced crossed the border into the United States, which would leave about 115,000 internally displaced, most likely in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Veracruz.”

Despite the lack of official figures relating to displacement, the 2010 census carried out by the government found that hundreds of thousands of homes were left vacant in violence-plagued areas, including the dangerous border city Ciudad Juárez, where 111,103 of 488,785 houses had been abandoned.

Bolivia: Cocaine seized near border with Peru

LA PAZ, Bolivia – One hundred ninety-four kilograms (427 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a camouflaged truck were confiscated near Bolivia’s border with Peru on March 26, Col. Juan Luis Torrelio, the head of the Bolivian Special Forces Against Drug Trafficking (FELCN), said.

Torrelio said the truck crossed the border near Yunguyo, Peru, and was bound for the Bolivian province of Santa Cruz, according to FmBolivia.net.

The cocaine was divided among 189 packages stashed beneath a false bottom in the truck. The driver, whose name was not released, was arrested, officials said.

A day earlier, law enforcement officials found 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of cocaine in another vehicle in the same area, Torrelio said.

Dominican Republic: Alleged drug smuggler extradited to U.S.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Dominican authorities have turned over an alleged narcotics drug trafficker so he can stand trial in Puerto Rico on charges of smuggling at least five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine and one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of heroin to the island.

Miguel Ángel Martínez, also known as Miguel Ángel Santana Martínez, and “Nani,” was extradited to Puerto Rico last week, according to the Dominican Republic-based website Listín Diario.com.

Martínez, 41, also is expected to be tried in a U.S. District Court, where he’ll face charges of criminal possession with the intent to distribute the narcotics, the Dominican National Drug Control Office said in a statement.

U.S. authorities requested Martínez’s extradition in November 2010, the office said.

Colombia: Three police officers killed in FARC attack

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – At least three police officers were killed and three others wounded in an attack by members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on the outskirts of Miranda, a town in the southwestern department of Cauca, officials said.

The FARC is one of the region’s largest terrorist and narcotics trafficking organizations.

The guerrillas surprised the police officers as they traveled along a road that leads from Miranda to the town of Florida, located in the neighboring department of Valle del Cauca, on March 27.

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