The Colombian government announced Tuesday that 116 tons of cocaine had been seized in a month and a half of joint military operations with countries in America and Europe.
“The coordinated, multilateral struggle that this operation Orion, seventh phase, embodies, is the ability of all countries to understand that together we can be more effective in what has to do with drug trafficking,” declared President Iván Duque from the presidential headquarters.
The amount was confiscated between May 15 and June 30 in the framework of military operations in the air, land and in the waters of the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Atlantic.
Authorities also seized 95.1 tons of marijuana and 780 laboratories that process the drug were destroyed.
The world’s leading producer of cocaine, Colombia coordinated actions with 38 other American and European nations in this operation that has been carried out in phases since 2018.
Surrounded by his military leadership and the Minister of Defense, the president applauded the international campaign for being “an unprecedented effort” in 50 years of fighting drugs.
The government also highlighted the captures of 539 people of different nationalities, as well as 69 boats, three semi-submersibles and five aircraft.
Police or military from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, among others, also participated in the offensive.
Colombia is the world’s leading coca leaf grower, with 143,000 hectares planted in 2020 and a potential to produce 1,228 tons of cocaine, according to the United Nations.
According to the government, the authorities last year seized more than 500 tons of cocaine and eradicated 130 thousand hectares of drug crops.
The United States is the largest consumer of the drug produced by Colombia.