The Minister of Defense has announced today that the fight against drug trafficking in Colombia remains at its peak. Ivan Velasquez, accompanied by the top brass of the police and the army, stated that over 640 tons of narcotics have been seized in Colombia so far in 2023. The minister expressed satisfaction with the results against drug trafficking, illegal mining, and other illicit activities.
By land, sea, and air
General Luis Ospina, commander of the Colombian army, specified that the operations against drug trafficking have resulted in the seizure of a little over 640 tons of drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and coca base paste.
Ospina also reported that, in these months of 2023, the security forces have dismantled 1,400 drug production laboratories and destroyed 1,400 plant nurseries, while the armed forces have seized more than 1 million gallons of liquid precursors and 700 tons of solid precursors.
According to data provided by Admiral Francisco Cubides, commander of the Colombian Navy, the seizure figures are record-breaking. Cubides explained that the Navy had set a target for cocaine trafficking at 345 tons.
“In this regard, the National Navy has achieved a total of 225 tons of seized cocaine hydrochloride in 2023, reaching 65% of the goal and surpassing the results for the same period in 2022 by 10 tons, which is a 4% increase,” the admiral explained in the joint press conference with the minister.
Regarding the seizure of another type of narcotics, the figures are also on the rise. In 2023, the seizure of 75 tons of marijuana represents 98% of the annual target. Additionally, the figures for the first 8 months of the year show a 72% increase compared to the same period last year.
The seizure of almost 19 tons of coca base paste was also highlighted, which represents a significant disruption in cocaine hydrochloride manufacturing. This figure showed a 40% increase compared to 2022.
The fight against these illegal groups is being pursued through all means. In terms of air operations, “the Caribbean corridor has seen a 51% decrease in illegal aircraft,” as stated by General Luis Córdoba, commander of the aerospace force. In line with this, the seizures during 2023 have amounted to 4 tons of cocaine, thanks to the Zeus strategy.
The national police, on their part, recovered 212 tons of cocaine, 36,000 kilograms of coca base paste, and destroyed 1,700 clandestine labs. The officers have arrested more than 30,000 individuals involved in drug trafficking and confiscated 2,100 assets.