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45 Tonnes of Drugs Confiscated in Venezuela in 2012

Merida, December 21st 2012 ( –  This year Venezuelan security forces have confiscated a total of 45.084 tonnes of drugs nationwide the minister for justice and internal affairs Nestor Reverol informed as he presented the National Anti-drug Office's (ONA) end of year report.

The figure is 3 tonnes higher than the amount of drugs confiscated in 2011, almost double the amount confiscated in 1999 (25.52 tonnes), but lower than the peak year of 2005, when 77.53 tonnes were confiscated.

Of the total confiscated this year, 27.12 tonnes, or 60.15% was cocaine, and 17.85 tonnes, or 39.58% was marihuana.  76.65 kilos (0.17%) was crack, 30.16 kilos (0.07% was heroine, and 14.67 kilos (0.03%) was basuco (cocaine paste).

According to Reverol, 9,692 people were arrested during the drug confiscations, 220 of which were foreigners, from 23 different countries. Of the Venezuelans, 8,815 were men and 657 were women, while of the foreigners, 196 were men and 24 were women.

The minister also pointed out that since 2006, 95 drug lords have been captured, including 20 this year. Of the 95, 72 have been deported to other countries, 12 are in prison in Venezuela, and 11 are going through proceedings to be deported. The countries where most drug lords have been deported to are Colombia (33), United States (21), and Holland (4).

The ONA has carried out 53,450 activities that aim to inform about and prevent drug use, Reverol said. Many of these activities or training programs were aimed at communal council spokespeople or education workers.

Venezuela is also the “second country in the world” to offer free rehabilitation treatment to drug addicts, something which privately could cost up to BsF. 90,000 (US$20,900)  per month, Reverol said. Public services available include 56 Family Orientation Centres, 14 Integral Attention and Prevention Speciality Centres, and 50 Socialist Therapeutic Communities, which this year assisted a total of 7,700 patients.

In 2005 president Hugo Chavez decided that Venezuela would suspend its cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), accusing it of being engaged in espionage and drug trafficking.

 The US government regularly accuses the Venezuelan government of not collaborating in the fight against drug trafficking. 

Published on Dec 21st 2012 at 8.28pm