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Vice President Carrizalez: Venezuela affirms its direct fight against drug trafficking

Vice President Ramón Carrizalez affirmed on Sunday that Venezuela’s fight against drug trafficking is real and direct.  He made these comments while evaluating Operation ‘Centinela’, an anti-drug trafficking program that is taking place along the border with Colombia.

To date the operation has led to the liberation of kidnap victims, the destruction of several drug labs and the seizure of tons of food that where about to smuggled out of the country, he said to journalists in a press conference in the state of Apuro.

The Vice President also mentioned the capture of a drug smuggling plane, among other achievements, Prensa Latina reported.

Carrizalez explained that the goal of Operation ‘Centinela’ is to fight drug trafficking, kidnapping, and the smuggling of food.  He noted that patrolling has increased, incorporating 20,000 agents along two kilometers of the Colombian, Brazilian and Guyanese borders.

Vice President Carrizalez explained that the majority of drugs produced in Colombia do are not transited through Venezuela, despite what some media outlets might claim.

He indicated that it is important to note that the majority of drugs produced in Colombia exit that country through its coasts on the Pacific and Caribbean, and that a lesser quantity is moved through Venezuela.

Carrizalez noted that as part of the government’s open fight against this scourge, drug traffickers are routinely captured and Venezuela has “over seven thousand people in its jails” for this crime, along with the great number of drug lords that are deported to the United States, Europe or Colombia.

“We are victims of the systems because the biggest drug producers are in Colombia and the biggest consumers are in the United States, and if production and consumption are not fought efficiently, we will continue to be victims,” he remarked.

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 23, 2009

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