Military and police authorities from 40 countries in America and Europe confiscated 145.3 tons of cocaine in the eighth phase of the multinational naval operation against drug trafficking “Orión,” the Colombian Navy reported on Monday.
This is the highest number of cocaine seized in the multinational operation to fight drug trafficking.
In the Naval Campaign Orion VIII, which took place between October and November, also 575 people of different nationalities were captured and 49 vessels, six semi-submersibles and three aircraft were immobilized on the ground, according to the balance presented by Colombia.
“The Naval Campaign against Drug Trafficking Orion reflects the holistic effort and the multilateral, regional and transnational commitment among allied countries, to work together to reduce the supply of illicit drugs, contributing to the security and comprehensive development of the territories”, said a statement from the Navy.
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In the operation involving warships, coastguards, planes and helicopters, more than 66 tons of marijuana were also seized.
Since the Orion campaign began in 2018, more than 545 tons of cocaine and 224 tons of marijuana have been confiscated among all the countries that make up the international coalition, according to the Colombian Navy.
The United States frequently puts pressure on Colombia to reduce the cultivation of coca, the raw material for cocaine.
Colombia’s potential cocaine production rose 7.9 percent to 1,010 metric tons last year, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
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The dissidents of the demobilized FARC guerrilla that departed from a peace agreement signed in 2016, the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) and criminal gangs made up of far-right ex-paramilitaries are involved in drug trafficking in the South American country.
Germany, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, El Salvador, Spain, France, Guatemala, Guyana, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, participated in the eighth phase of the operation together with Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, the Dominican Republic, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay.