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WikiLeaks: Panama Politicians Suspected of Drug Trafficking

PANAMA / 1 APR 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN
  • Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Panama suspected that country’s politicians of taking part in arms and drug trafficking, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks and quoted by newspaper Panama America. The elected officials allegedly used cars with official licence plates to get these items across national borders. The cable also reportedly says that the border between Panama and Costa Rica is a center for arms and drug trafficking, supported by government officials and some major units of the National Police. The newspaper says that the National Immigration Service and Customs Authority estimates that between ten and twenty million dollars of revenue from narcotics trafficking is smuggled through Panama each month.
  • Ecuador and Mexico agreed Thursday to work more closely in the fight against organized crime, reports EFE. Ecuador’s Foreign Vice Minister Kintto Lucas and his Mexican counterpart Ruben Beltran said the countries will strengthen bilateral cooperation on issues such as port control, money laundering, and efforts to reduce the demand for drugs. This news comes days after Ecuador arrested several suspected members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.
  • A representative of Mexico’s Foreign Ministry told newspaper El Universal that in the last decade nearly 20,000 Mexicans have been arrested in other countries on charges of drug trafficking. Some 90% of these cases were in the United States. From 2010 to the present, he said, more than 2000 Mexican nationals have been put on trial in various countries for their alleged connections with organized crime. The official also commented that there have been a growing number of Mexicans arrested on drug trafficking charges in European countries like Spain, Italy, and Germany, as well as in Panama, Colombia, and Peru.
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