A total of 42.3 tons of narcotics have been seized by the Venezuelan government throughout 2011, according to statements made Tuesday the Minister of the Interior and Justice Tareck El Aissami.
Of this figure, 62 percent was cocaine, while 37 percent was marijuana. “These seizures were part of 9,948 operations carried out by the different law enforcement agencies,” the minister said.
This year, Venezuelan authorities also arrested 21 drug kingpins who were sought by international law enforcement agencies.
Eight military anti-drug operations were carried out along the border with Colombia in 2011, resulting in the destruction of 21 aircrafts, 45 clandestine air strips in the state of Apure, and 17 laboratories in the states of Táchira and Zulia.
Additionally, El Aissami spoke about the seizure of 4.47 million doses of different types of drugs used for micro-drug-trafficking, including 2.4 million units of cocaine, 1.1 million of marihuana, 30,737 of heroine, 562,830 of crack cocaine and 355,100 of cocaine paste.
The Venezuelan minister said that these achievements were possible thanks to the National Anti-Drug Plan, which includes three important aspects: prevention, anti-trafficking measures, and the work of different law enforcement agencies together with international cooperation.
“It’s an extremely important battle that the government has assumed as an unshakable solution to reducing illicit drug-trafficking,” El Aissami said.
El Aissami considered the country’s plan to fight drug-trafficking successful, saying that these achievements “once again make the country an international point of reference in terms of the integral, structural policies developed by the government to fight drug-trafficking.”
For his part, the vice minister of drug prevention and citizen security and president of the National Anti-Drug Office, Nestor Reverol, said that 43,576 preventive activities have been carried out in 2011, through which over 3 million people have been educated about illicit drug abuse.
Reverol said that, compared to 2010, prevention activities such as community workshops have increased by 16 percent, while the number of beneficiaries climbed by 200 percent.
School centers to train community leaders have been created in the 335 municipalities of Venezuela, he noted. To date, 337,837 people have been trained in drug prevention, “so they can disseminate information in their communities,” Reverol said.
AVN / Press – Venezuela Embassy to the U.S. / December 28, 2011