Seven cocaine processing labs, recently discovered in the state of Zulia, were destroyed on Tuesday by the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), following a visit to the sites by members of the national and international press. The labs were located on the edge of the Socoabó River, about 1.6 kilometers from the Colombia-Venezuela border.
The Commander General of the GNB, Major General Fredys Alonso Carrión, said that the discovery of the camp, which contained seven drug labs, was a result of intelligence work and a GNB operation that began last Tuesday called ‘Sur del Lago’ (South of the Lake). This operation is designed to identify illicit drug cultivation as well as anything else related to drug trafficking.
The press visited the main laboratory of the camp, the one which has the highest capacity to produce drugs. Military authorities discovered 60 kilos of cocaine paste (from which 480 kilos of cocaine could be produced), chemicals used to make drugs, other drug producing supplies, electric generators, and at least six stamping machines that presumably marked the logos of drug cartels that packages were destined for, among other things.
Among the stamps the machines printed were a figure of a bull with the name ‘Brahmans rojo’ on it, stickers with the figure of Daisy Duck, as well as pictures of a pig, of a heart and of logo that said ‘C1’.
Division General Jesús Bermúdez, Head of the Anti-Drugs Command of the GNB, explained the way in which the lab was presumed to work. He added that the evidence shows that the lab produce an average of 7 tons of chlorohydrate of cocaine and that, although no arrests have been made yet, the camp employed between 30 and 40 people.
For now, the GNB is continuing to patrol the area to find out of there are similar camps around. They are also analyzing the chemicals and drug precursor samples, including caustic soda, acetone, urea and activated carbon, in order to determine when the camp was built.
Major General Carrión announced that the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB), in coordination with the Strategic Operational Command (CEO), initiated an important operation on Tuesday throughout the entire border area of Colombia and Venezuela.
The operation, called ‘Centinela’, will last indefinitely and will be deployed from Castilletes (the northwest edge of Zulia) to San Simón del Cocuy (southwest Amazonas). Agents and teams from all four branches of the military will be involved in this operation meant to fight drug trafficking, the smuggling of food, goods, weapons and fuel, as well as any other crime committed along the border.
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 11, 2009