HomeNewsBriefPanama Busts Colombian Drug Trafficking Ring
BRIEF

Panama Busts Colombian Drug Trafficking Ring

COLOMBIA / 7 SEP 2011 BY JEANNA CULLINAN EN

Panama announced the arrest of 80 members of a Colombian-led drug trafficking organization that moved cocaine from Central America to the United States via Panama’s Caribbean coast.

The arrests were reportedly the result of an investigation carried out by Panamanian authorities in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Simultaneous raids at 30 locations netted 162 kilograms of cocaine, as well as firearms and vehicles. Eighty people were arrested, 61 of them Panamanian and 19 Colombian.

Colombian national Jose Indalecio Marmolejo Parra (above left) is suspected of heading the ring. A former associate of drug lord Pablo Escobar, Parra has been implicated in weapons and drug trafficking in Colombia and Costa Rica. Parra was arrested on gun charges in July and is under house arrest in Panama.

Panama’s Anti-Drug Prosecutor Javier Caraballo alleged that the group was responsible for transporting at least 18 tons of cocaine to the United States in the last two years, using Caribbean maritime routes. There is evidence that the trafficking network is involved with selling weapons to Colombia’s left-wing guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), and is likely responsible for a number of murders in Panama City.

The operation to dismantle Parra’s trafficking network follows recent anti-narcotics successes by Panama authorities, including the seizure of several tons of liquid cocaine in July as well as a heroin shipment worth more than $70 million dollars.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 12 MAR 2020

After receiving threats, park rangers in Colombia have abandoned areas of the Amazon that they were protecting. Now these territories…

BRAZIL / 3 AUG 2017

In our August 3 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown about…

COLOMBIA / 17 AUG 2016

A large influx of migrants from the Caribbean and other regions landing in Colombia has provided the country's criminal groups with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…