More than 14,000 detainees in Latin America in an operation against illegal weapons

Authorities in Latin America detained more than 14,000 people and seized more than 8,000 illegal weapons in the "major operation" of this type coordinated by Interpol, the international police cooperation organization announced on Tuesday.

The named operation "Trigger IX" It took place between March 12 and April 2, thanks to cooperation between 15 countries, and also allowed the seizure of 300,000 cartridges and 203 tons of cocaine, the organization based in Lyon (eastern France) specified in a statement. .

"The fact that a targeted operation against illicit firearms has led to such massive drug seizures is further proof (…) that these crimes are interrelated"said Interpol Secretary General J├╝rgen Stock.

The value of the seized drug, which in addition to cocaine includes other narcotic products, rises to 5,700 million dollars. Authorities also seized 372 tons of drug precursors.

The operation led to "dislocation" of 20 organized criminal groups, including the arrest of members of the Brazilian Primeiro Comando da Capital, the Mara Salvatrucha gang and the Balkans Cartel, "all involved in firearms trafficking"according to the organization.

According to the overall figures in the statement, 14,260 people were arrested, 8,263 weapons and 305,000 cartridges were seized. Uruguay seized 100,000 pieces of ammunition, which were trafficked "two european citizens"in the largest seizure of its kind in the country.

Authorities in Brazil and Paraguay have also closed several firearms outlets for irregular and unlicensed operations.

Police cooperation made it possible to discover other crimes such as corruption, fraud, human trafficking, environmental crimes and terrorist activities, details Interpol.

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Eleven people were released in Paraguay from human trafficking and Colombia, in cooperation with Venezuela, detained a Venezuelan person who was wanted by Interpol for terrorism and arms trafficking.

The countries participating in Trigger IX were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

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