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Salvadoran Navy Refines Drug Enforcement Strategy

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first_imgOn the night of January 18, another Navy team detained a boat off the beach in the department of Sonsonate. The crew – two Guatemalan nationals and one Nicaraguan national – were allegedly transporting 448 kilograms of cocaine. “When the Military approached, the occupants performed evasion maneuvers so as not to be discovered,” one of the undercover Naval Service Members said on the night of the operation. “They were captured in spite of their efforts. The drugs discovered during this procedure have a street value of 11 million dollars.” “The FNES is strengthening the country’s efforts to eradicate the structures of drug traffickers using this region to smuggle drugs,” said El Salvador’s Minister of Defense David Munguía Payés in a televised interview. “Our interdiction operations have been effective, and we are blocking off the drug traffickers’ routes.” The Salvadoran Navy (FNES) is using more effective tactics to take aim at drug vessels that attempt to transport drugs to the United States daily. The Navy comprises the Pacific operational arm of the Cuscatlán Joint Group (GCC, for its Spanish acronym), an interagency team whose mission is to combat shipments of large amounts of drugs. This multidisciplinary effort is performed with the support of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM); it was established in 2012 to better integrate the National Civil Police (PNC), customs and port authorities, and local military in the fight against transnational organized crime. Since its creation, GCC has improved interagency cooperation and provided a quick reaction team to combat criminal activity on the coast. The Salvadoran Navy (FNES) is using more effective tactics to take aim at drug vessels that attempt to transport drugs to the United States daily. The Navy effectively carried out these types of operations and other anti-drug missions in 2014, such as Special Operation LIONFISH II, which involved the participation of several drug enforcement officers from the PNC. The operation resulted in the seizure of 864 kilograms of cocaine in December; that month, Naval Service Members detained a boat from Ecuador carrying 498 kilograms of cocaine off a beach in the department of La Libertad, and another from Guatemala, carrying 366 kilograms of cocaine, off a beach in the department of La Paz. “The seizures are the result of the excellent domestic and foreign coordination that we have with international drug enforcement institutions and agencies,” Captain Merino added. “In addition, we conducted intelligence work along the coasts and we responded to crime reports filed by citizens.” For example, on the morning of January 29, personnel from the Salvadoran Air Force (FAS) spotted a suspicious boat on the beach in the department of La Libertad. The pilots sent a signal to the Navy, and Naval forces attempted to detain the vessel at 4 nautical miles at sea. However, since the crew did not obey orders to halt, the Navy intercepted the vessel. One Salvadoran national and one Guatemalan national were attempting to transport one ton of cocaine, worth $15.6 million, from Nicaragua to Guatemala. About 87 percent of the drugs that traffickers smuggle from South America to the United States are transported along the Pacific coastal waters of Central America. As a consequence of its improved tactics, the Navy is seizing more of these drug shipments. The Navy also is supported by a fleet of A-37 FAS airplanes, whose mission is to safeguard airspace in the region, both mainland and islands, and over the territorial waters. “The seizures are the result of the excellent domestic and foreign coordination that we have with international drug enforcement institutions and agencies,” Captain Merino added. “In addition, we conducted intelligence work along the coasts and we responded to crime reports filed by citizens.” “When the GCC detects a vessel traversing our territorial waters in coordination with SOUTHCOM, the Navy intercepts it immediately. In doing so, we are reducing the arrest and seizure times,” Defense Minister Munguía Payés added. “These airplanes are a deterrent, not just in national defense, but also in the war on drugs, because they are rapid interceptors,” Defense Minister Munguía Payés added during the televised interview. “If we detect vessels carrying drugs in our territorial waters, or we suspect such vessels are related to organized crime, the airplanes can intercept them.” The Navy comprises the Pacific operational arm of the Cuscatlán Joint Group (GCC, for its Spanish acronym), an interagency team whose mission is to combat shipments of large amounts of drugs. This multidisciplinary effort is performed with the support of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM); it was established in 2012 to better integrate the National Civil Police (PNC), customs and port authorities, and local military in the fight against transnational organized crime. Since its creation, GCC has improved interagency cooperation and provided a quick reaction team to combat criminal activity on the coast. The Navy effectively carried out these types of operations and other anti-drug missions in 2014, such as Special Operation LIONFISH II, which involved the participation of several drug enforcement officers from the PNC. The operation resulted in the seizure of 864 kilograms of cocaine in December; that month, Naval Service Members detained a boat from Ecuador carrying 498 kilograms of cocaine off a beach in the department of La Libertad, and another from Guatemala, carrying 366 kilograms of cocaine, off a beach in the department of La Paz. “These airplanes are a deterrent, not just in national defense, but also in the war on drugs, because they are rapid interceptors,” Defense Minister Munguía Payés added during the televised interview. “If we detect vessels carrying drugs in our territorial waters, or we suspect such vessels are related to organized crime, the airplanes can intercept them.” Captain René Merino, FNES Chief of Naval Operations, said this level of coordination aids is increasing the teams’ effectiveness. “When the Military approached, the occupants performed evasion maneuvers so as not to be discovered,” one of the undercover Naval Service Members said on the night of the operation. “They were captured in spite of their efforts. The drugs discovered during this procedure have a street value of 11 million dollars.” “We work as maritime fishermen, and that’s how [the drug traffickers] recruited us,” explained Miguel Antonio Parada, the detained Salvadoran national, during a press conference the same day. “They threatened to kill our families if we didn’t make the trip, so we did it. But we never resisted arrest.” center_img “The FNES is strengthening the country’s efforts to eradicate the structures of drug traffickers using this region to smuggle drugs,” said El Salvador’s Minister of Defense David Munguía Payés in a televised interview. “Our interdiction operations have been effective, and we are blocking off the drug traffickers’ routes.” About 87 percent of the drugs that traffickers smuggle from South America to the United States are transported along the Pacific coastal waters of Central America. As a consequence of its improved tactics, the Navy is seizing more of these drug shipments. Captain René Merino, FNES Chief of Naval Operations, said this level of coordination aids is increasing the teams’ effectiveness. From November through December last year, the FNES seized 922 kg of cocaine, with a value of approximately $23 million. They arrested 31 suspects and detained 14 small vessels. From January through March this year, the FNES seized 1,069 kg valued at $26.5 million, arrested 15 suspects and detained five small vessels. “When the GCC detects a vessel traversing our territorial waters in coordination with SOUTHCOM, the Navy intercepts it immediately. In doing so, we are reducing the arrest and seizure times,” Defense Minister Munguía Payés added. “We work as maritime fishermen, and that’s how [the drug traffickers] recruited us,” explained Miguel Antonio Parada, the detained Salvadoran national, during a press conference the same day. “They threatened to kill our families if we didn’t make the trip, so we did it. But we never resisted arrest.” Regional effort produces good results From November through December last year, the FNES seized 922 kg of cocaine, with a value of approximately $23 million. They arrested 31 suspects and detained 14 small vessels. From January through March this year, the FNES seized 1,069 kg valued at $26.5 million, arrested 15 suspects and detained five small vessels. The Navy also is supported by a fleet of A-37 FAS airplanes, whose mission is to safeguard airspace in the region, both mainland and islands, and over the territorial waters. Regional effort produces good results “We are making it tougher for drug traffickers to use Salvadoran waters to smuggle drugs,” Captain Merino said. “In addition, we are coordinating closely with the Guatemalan and Nicaraguan Navies, and we exchange information with them to attack these structures. Lastly, the FNES conducts daily patrols, both along the coast and at sea.” “We are making it tougher for drug traffickers to use Salvadoran waters to smuggle drugs,” Captain Merino said. “In addition, we are coordinating closely with the Guatemalan and Nicaraguan Navies, and we exchange information with them to attack these structures. Lastly, the FNES conducts daily patrols, both along the coast and at sea.” By Dialogo June 18, 2015 The effectiveness achieved through the national drug enforcement strategy is of the highest importance for regional efforts to close off routes to drug trafficking vessels, Captain Merino said. The effectiveness achieved through the national drug enforcement strategy is of the highest importance for regional efforts to close off routes to drug trafficking vessels, Captain Merino said. For example, on the morning of January 29, personnel from the Salvadoran Air Force (FAS) spotted a suspicious boat on the beach in the department of La Libertad. The pilots sent a signal to the Navy, and Naval forces attempted to detain the vessel at 4 nautical miles at sea. However, since the crew did not obey orders to halt, the Navy intercepted the vessel. One Salvadoran national and one Guatemalan national were attempting to transport one ton of cocaine, worth $15.6 million, from Nicaragua to Guatemala. On the night of January 18, another Navy team detained a boat off the beach in the department of Sonsonate. The crew – two Guatemalan nationals and one Nicaraguan national – were allegedly transporting 448 kilograms of cocaine. Servicemen can do their jobs. They can’t be in the battalions they can carry out military operations. I trust them more than other authorities who want to screw the people There are more train that will be ablelast_img


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