The Director of Venezuela’s National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), Néstor Reverol, informed that over the course of 2009 a total of 132,638 pounds (60,164 kilograms) of different types of drugs were seized, an increase of seven tons over 2008.
Reverol presented a balance of the operations developed by the ONA during 2009, and emphasized that operations against drug trafficking were increasing in the country.
The director of the ONA also said that the Venezuelan administration will continue strengthening all the mechanisms against drug trafficking implemented during 2009, which placed Venezuela as one of the world’s countries with the most developed comprehensive drug trafficking policies.
Reverol noted that during 2009 officials from strategic regions in Venezuela were trained to fight against drug trafficking, as well as members of hundreds of communities and schools around the country.
A survey conducted in 571 Venezuelan schools showed that only 0.6 percent of 100 students had used cocaine; 0.4 percent had used heroin and 1.7 had used percent marijuana.
“This survey allowed us to design policies and state strategies, as well as anti-drug campaigns (…) It allowed us to be recognized again by the UN only as transit country, neighboring one of the world biggest drug producers: Colombia,” he said.
Venezuela has signed 50 anti-drug international cooperation legal agreements. Furthermore, the South American country has agreements in revision with the Netherlands, Spain, France and Barbados, while joint commissions have been created with Italy and Ecuador.
Equipment against Drug Trafficking
During 2009 more than US $260 million were invested in 10 Chinese radars to detect violations of the Venezuelan aerial space by drug trafficking units.
“We made this interchange with China because we had previously five U.S. radars, but after the April 2002 coup d’état three of them were taken away and no more parts were sent for the other two,” informed the ONA official.
For 2010 the ONA foresees strengthening and equipping Venezuelan ports and airports, installing cargo-detection units and creating the National Anti-Drug Fund, which will be launched on January 4.
Photo: Bolivarian News Agency (ABN)
VTV/Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press and Communications Office / December 29, 2009