Columbia Reports Largest Cocaine Seizure In Country’s History
Last week, Columbia President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the country had conducted the largest cocaine seizure in its history. A record 13.4 tons of cocaine, worth more than $360,000,000, was confiscated by authorities at farms located in the northwest region of the city of Medellin. Four arrests were made in connection with the operation.
According to Santos, the four collection sites that stored the drugs were in a six-kilometer radius between municipalities and belonged to the drug trafficking and paramilitary organization Clan of the Gulf (aka Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Columbia (AGC).
The ACG is a far right-wing group that engages in narcoterrorism and are long-time enemies of the communist rebels Revolutionary Armed Forced of Columbia (FARC).
After this latest bust, known as Operation Agamemnon II, Columbia has now seized an estimated 362 tons of cocaine in 2017, surpassing 2016. The cocaine was found stacked in large blocks wrapped in plastic and hidden in a shed.
Such raids from the country’s authorities are a result of the recent spike in cocaine production – the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime stated that Columbia’s coca cultivation had risen 52% last year, up from 96,000 hectares in 2015 to 146,000 hectares last year. That’s enough to manufacture 850 tons of cocaine.
Despite the impressive seizure, this is not the largest cocaine seizure in history. In 1989, Los Angeles authorities raided a warehouse in Sylmar that served to bring cocaine from Columbia through Mexico and into the United States.
During the raid, they uncovered 21.4 tons of cocaine, with an estimated street value of nearly $7 billion. It was estimated that this amount was enough to supply every person in the United States with about five hits.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology