The drug interdiction and subsequent theft is a phenomenon that exists in Central America since the 80. Their faces now are targeting the police. Violent crimes burst the tranquility of the Central American capitals, the armed wings mixed with impunity and the stories lead us straight to police, corruption, killings and drug trafficking. It is the reality of three countries as Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Panama, cradle of tumblers
When the 14 July 2004 a criminal network decided to break into the vault of the Judicial Technical Police, a group of detectives robaron 103 kilos of cocaine, turned it over to a captain of the national police and made a final payment to civil. Fields joined drug to undermine national security and penetrate Panamanian.
The former drug prosecutor Panama, Javier Caraballo, referring to the current situation of local tumblers, confirmed that in recent years have investigated several cases in which police have captured Panamanians involved in drug trafficking, especially cases in which the agents are handling vehicles containing drugs.
For 2012 and 2013 figures no security features that are investigated by the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Panamanian National Police are known. The “lie on drugs”, or stolen shipments, who manage to enter the country from Colombia has become the most lucrative organized crime activity in the canal territory.
Through a report Novelty 7 May 2004, signed by Captain Jose Samaniego and Staff Sergeant Ramon Bernal, Drug Branch of the Information and Police Investigation, was established in El Nance, district of San Carlos, west of the province of Panama, some Colombian citizens residing, dedicated to drug trafficking, and using drugs for landing beach Punta Raton. According to the source, a captain in the National Police Perez surname (Eduardo) and lieutenant named Bernal, working in the police district of La Chorrera, planned and executed a “somersaults” drug Colombians in collaboration with other subjects.
In 2007, the Second Court in the second instance Resolution No. 098, amended judgment and convicted Eduardo Pérez, Victor Samaniego Puga, both police, Manuel Eduardo Solis and the penalty 8 years in prison for drug trafficking.
“The fight against drugs in our country, in our opinion, great effectiveness reflects both the amount of drugs seized (23 tons in the first 6 months 2013) and the dismantling of criminal groups, however, the existence of groups of local tumblers or groups of foreigners seeking to use our territory to exchange drugs persists “, sostuvo it tax Caraballo.
Tumbes in Nicaragua
At the rate of drug, the 90% of the 650 tons of Colombian cocaine passes through Central. Another route is Nicaragua. The situation has worsened in the country. One of these events goes back to the morning of 18 September 2008, on the southern border of Nicaragua, when several police officers wearing balaclavas and found that eight people arrested in Rivas with a cargo of arms, Honduran including, Mexican and Nicaraguan, carried a disturbing list of people who were going to kill.
The head of the operation was the Mexican Miguel Angel Hernández Hernández, which together with Honduran and Nicaraguan thugs, ensure removal rivenses six posters accused of stealing cocaine shipments, an episode that, for the analyst on security issues, Roberto Orozco, forcing the country to look out what might happen if the drug violence is definitely installed.
The trigger had been stolen 800 kilos of cocaine hidden in a pipe out of the municipality of Cardenas and ended up in the wrong hands. According to the Chief Commissioner Carlos Espinoza, then head of the delegation of Rivas, one of the objectives was the Nicaraguan Jairo Calero Cerda, identified by various sources as an ex-cop.
The drug interdiction and subsequent theft, for trading in the local market, It is a phenomenon that was born in Nicaragua in the years 90, after the civil war, but it had not affected the safety so far, unless some serious exceptions, a country that boasts its homicide rate is 12 each 100,000 people, one of the lowest in the region.
The “tumbadrogas”-in the case of Nicaragua- are “criminals together with former police, former members who use the factor of opportunity “for robberies, Orozco says analyst.
The analyst noted that safety issues in Pacific Nicaragua, according to official data, operated until 2012 at least 17 criminal groups, five more than 2011. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, confirmed that in Panama there are between 40 and 50 groups tumbadores (drug thieves) they are operating and are responsible for 20% crimes committed in the country.
Guatemala in the spotlight
The journey of the drug reaches the Guatemalan border, shipments must pass the strip that divides heading to Mexican cartels. But immediately comes short again and tumblers groups come their way, whose drug, weapons and money stays in the hands of organized crime and the local police set.
A true fact was Salcaja, Quetzaltenango: Thursday 13 June 2013. 19.30 hours. The eight policemen from the Police Station Salcajá not yet finished dinner when a hail of bullets ended his life. In minutes, a group of 13 gunmen who arrived aboard three trucks entered the agricultural station and massacred its occupants, who were unarmed and could not repel the attack. The only survivor, Deputy Inspector Cesar Augusto Garcia, was taken hostage and his dismembered body was found a week later.
What prompted this brutal response of the hitherto unknown organization Cano Francisco Eduardo Villatoro, novel drug dealer operating in the far Huehuetenango, border with Mexico? Investigations Government officials point to a lie of money that the police had done days ago. The money allegedly belonged Cano Villatoro, who decided to retrieve their cargo and take revenge on the police.
“What surprises me is that if the fight against drug trafficking is as effective, Why these groups increased? What’s going on? The fight has been good, but the stimulus behind the cocaine trade is very high which makes many people to organize to commit crimes “, Nicaraguan reasoned specialist Roberto Orozco.
- Report Published by Crítica
*A report by Vernick Gudiel, Octavio Enríquez and Grisel Bethancourt, participants of the Investigative Reporting Initiative in the Americas of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with CONNECTAS.