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They seize thousands of weapons and 5.7 billion dollars in drugs in an operation led by Interpol in Latin America

Interpol said on Tuesday that the largest anti-firearms operation in Central and South America had resulted in the seizure of thousands of illegal weapons and $5.7 billion worth of drugs, thanks to unprecedented cooperation from 15 countries. .

The international police organization added that the Central and South American authorities had made 14,260 arrests during ‘Operation Trigger IX’, carried out between March 12 and April 2.

“The fact that an operation targeting illegal firearms has led to such massive drug seizures is further evidence, if needed, that these crimes are intertwined,” Interpol Secretary General said in a statement. Juergen Stock.

In the operation, 8,263 illicit firearms and almost 306,000 cartridges were located, as well as 203 tons of drugs and 372 tons of drug precursors. 11 people were rescued in Paraguay when authorities dismantled a human trafficking network, Interpol reported.

According to security forces, there has been an increase in drug-related violence over the past year, fueled by trafficking in illegal firearms. The operation also uncovered cases of corruption, fraud, crimes against the environment, and terrorist activities.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay participated in the operation.

The operation comes at a time when Mexico, backed by 16 US states and some Caribbean countries, is filing a civil lawsuit against US arms manufacturers to hold them responsible for facilitating cross-border arms trafficking.

More than half of the “weapons of crime” recovered and traced in Central America come from the United States, according to the US arms control agency ATF. This level is close to 70% in the case of Mexico and around 80% in the Caribbean.

Source: VOA Espanol

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