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Five tonnes of cocaine seized in Panama and Mexico June 25, 2008 - AFP
PANAMA CITY (AFP) — Three tonnes of cocaine have been seized by authorities on Panama's Caribbean coast and two more were discovered in a house in southern Mexico, officials from the two countries have said.
Panamanian police said a patrol found 122 bags stuffed with 3,027 one-kilogram (2.2-pound) bricks of cocaine that had been hastily abandoned next to a boat on the banks of the Petaquilla river, and three men were arrested.
Panama's anti-drug prosecutor Jose Almengor said notes were written on the bags, "which led us to believe that the drugs were bound for five criminal groups in Mexico."
Almengor said he contacted anti-narcotics agents in Mexico to alert them to the haul and to coordinate interdiction, but it was not immediately clear if the drug seizures were directly connected.
Police said this was the third major drug bust in Panama in the past 30 days, with authorities seizing 11 tonnes of cocaine in that period and some 25 tonnes since the beginning of the year.
In Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas, police found green military-type bags containing packets with the inscription "Sinaloa Cartel" and "Mayo Zambada," the name of one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Ismael Zambada.
Chiapas state justice chief Amador Rodriquez said he has noted a spate of drug-trafficking crimes in his state as a result of a crackdown against drug cartels in other parts of the country.
The Mexican government has deployed 30,000 soldiers in about 10 of Mexico's 32 states, to combat drug production and trafficking.
According to Rodriguez, increased aerial surveillance and the closure of small airports in southern Mexico has complicated the activities of traffickers.
Their planes are "loaded with drugs from South and Central America, and land in Peten, in Guatemala (bordering Mexico), from where they transport the drugs overland to Chiapas."
People are going to be killed over this. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if a large amount of the seized cocaine makes its way into America anyhow. The drug cartels are enormously powerful and murder anyone that stands in their way.
Another interesting thing to note is how available cocaine is in the USA and that ~800,000 ounces of blow have been seized so far this year. I'm sure most of the shipments go smoothly and I find that number incredible.