Drug Problem in Panama

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POSITION PAPER FOR DRUGS PROBLEM IN PANAMA

Panama found the best ally to bolster its fight against narco-trafficking: Colombia. The exchange of information and experience in the counter-narcotics effort is one of the main international strategies implemented through the Public Safety and Defense Ministries of Panama and Colombia through the Binational Border Commission (COMBIFRON). Panama belives that it is imperative to Colombia to share its counter-narcotics knowledge with its neighbors. Panama already done this with Guatemala, Honduras and even with North African nations that also are suffering from this type of transnational criminal activity. Panama, led by its National Police (PN), the National Aero-Naval Service (SENAN) and National Border Service (SENAFRONT), seized 30.9 metric tons (68,122 pounds) of cocaine from January to the first week of December 2012, compared to 41.3 metric tons (91,050 pounds) in all of 2011, according to Panamanian Public Safety Minister, José Raúl Mulino. Nearly 90% of the cocaine that reaches the United States comes through Mexico and Central America, according to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. Panama participate at COMBIFRON meetings, which are held twice a year, to allow to carry out analyses and plan strategies, exchange information and learn from the experiences of the Colombians so Panama can address a problem that goes beyond their borders. Narco-trafficking affects all of us, because Panama is are not isolated, and it has to unite in order to confront the cartels. The exchange of information among Panama, Colombia and the United States has played a critical role in battling narco-trafficking. Operation Martillo, a joint effort between 14 countries in the Western hemisphere and Europe aimed at eradicating illegal drug trafficking on both coasts of the Central American isthmus was a real succes. Many of the large drug seizures Panama have carried out have been due to the investigations and...
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