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On February 25, a combined operation between the Colombian Navy and the Aruban security forces allowed the seizure of more than 5 tons of cocaine, hidden in an internal compartment of the Aressa freighter. The Cameroonian-flagged vessel had sailed from the port of Guaranao, in the Venezuelan state of Falcón, and was destined for Greece.
The Aruba portal 24ora indicated that this has been the largest cache seized in Aruba, according to estimates from the island’s Public Ministry.
The former president of the National Commission Against the Illicit Use of Drugs of Venezuela (CONACUID) Mildred Camero, indicated that this operation was possible thanks to the coordination between Colombia, Aruba and the United States, without the institutional competition of Venezuelan security forces. .
This is another example where Hugo Chávez and now Nicolás Maduro first separated from international cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, to participate fully in this activity.
The isolation process began in 2005, when Chávez ordered the execution of the agreements signed with the Narcotics Affairs Section of the US State Department to cease. USA (NAS in English). These conventions governed, among various issues, the activity of the US Drug Control Administration. USA (DEA in English) in the country.
The day Chávez announced this decision, Camero was in the United States. USA “When I returned to Venezuela, I knew I was dismissed,” she recalled.
From there, Venezuela also left the multilateral anti-drug cooperation forums of the Organization of American States and of the Andean Community. In 2008, Chávez threatened to leave Interpol, when technicians from that entity ratified the evidentiary validity of computer files from computers seized during a raid in northern Ecuador. The files linked the Chávez government with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
International cooperation for the interdiction and prevention of drug use and detection of money laundering has been decreasing until the current situation, in which it “no longer exists,” said Camero.
Simultaneously, several high-ranking officers in charge of fighting the trafficking organizations began to favor these groups, using their positions of power to do so. One would be Major General of the Bolivarian National Guard Néstor Reverol, current Minister of Interior Relations, who occupied the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA) –which replaced CONACUID– as of 2008.
An indictment filed in the Eastern District Court of New York in January 2015 indicates that Reverol, along with Brigadier General Edylberto Molina “alerted narcotics traffickers to future drug raids or locations of police law enforcement activities anti-narcotics, so that traffickers could change storage places or alter their routes or transport times, and thus avoid detection by the police. ”
Molina was the CEO of ONA during Reverol’s tenure. Later, when Maduro appointed this officer for Internal Relations, he appointed the first as vice minister of the Integrated Police System (VISIPOL).
Camero stated that Major General Hugo Carvajal, former director of Military Counterintelligence, was carrying out a similar activity in favor of the cartels.
Reverol, Carvajal and Molina were appointed in mid-March 2020 by the US attorney general. USA, William Barr, to participate in the construction of Maduro’s “corrupt regime”.
With the cessation of Venezuelan international cooperation on drugs, and the ignorance of the Maduro regime by more than 50 countries, both the US. USA like the neighboring states of Venezuela, they have implemented other tactics to prevent the caches from leaving the country. Electronic surveillance and the use of confidential informants have been applied with greater intensity. According to Camero, this made it possible to detect in December the preparations for the transfer of the cocaine discovered on the Aressa ship.
This vision is shared by the president of the Sub-Commission on Drugs, Anti-Terrorism and the fight against Organized Crime of the National Assembly (AN), deputy José Luis Pirela, who affirms that this increase in vigilance over the country explains why the large Drug seizures are occurring in the Caribbean and in duty stations, such as Spain and France, rather than in Venezuelan territory itself.
“The breakdown of international cooperation mechanisms has allowed drug trafficking to advance to alarming levels in Venezuela,” he said.
The parliamentarian believes that it is necessary to resume the presence of Venezuela in all international forums that work both in interdiction and in the prevention of drug use.
He indicated that the president of the AN Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president by the USA. USA and more than 50 countries, must take advantage of this situation to renew such agreements, and incidentally create a parliamentary space that allows the discussion on the drug issue to resume.