• As Latin America prepares for President Obama’s visit, Guatemala will receive the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, IPS News reports. While Obama will be in El Salvador next week as a final stop in his three-country tour of Latin America, the UN’s Secretary General will be visiting Guatemala mainly to sign an agreement to extend the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comision Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala – CICIG). He will also attend a summit with representatives of the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana – SICA). Issue regarding drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and organized crime also rank high on the agenda.
  • La Razon reports that a major laboratory was found and dismantled yesterday by Bolivian anti-drug authorities. According to the Special Antidrug Task Force (Fuerza Especial de Lucha Contra el Narcotráfico – FELCN) it is the fourth major lab found so far this year, and was able to produce at least 400 kilos of cocaine per week; it was found some 110 kilometers near the country’s most populated city, Santa Cruz. Some four Colombians were reportedly arrested but so far there have been no indications of their possible relationships to Colombian DTOs. Authorities also noted that the lab was technologically more advanced than the previous ones found in Bolivia. At least 6,500 liters of chemical liquid precursors were also seized at the scene. 
  • The Naval Forces from 11 countries in Latin America, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, are meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on March 15 and 16 for the Ninth Multilateral Maritime Anti-drug Summit (Novena Cumbre Maritima Multilateral Antidrogas). The forum will primarily concern better strategies to tackle maritime drug trafficking in the hemisphere.

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