Date: Thu, 17 Sep 98 08:46:43 CDT
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Drug Trafficking and Use in Nicaragua On the Increase
Centr-Am News, No. XXV, week of 6-12 September 1998
According to a report released by the Nicaraguan police on September 11, the presence and use of drugs in Nicaragua are rapidly growing. Drug-related crimes are also on the increase.
"In the case of cocaine, Nicaragua is not of interest to the drug traffickers as a market, but rather as a route to the U.S.," said the report. The report also said that "Since 1990 [the year the Sandinistas lost the government to former president Violeta Chamorro] the average number of drug-related crimes per year has increased 202 per cent."
The report also says, "The tentacles of drug trafficking and its related crimes are drawing into their decadent trap thousands of young people, with repercussions of violence and thefts, from which not even the families of the addicts can escape, awakening awareness of the seriousness of this phenomenon in more and more layers of society." The National Police estimate that more than 12 per cent of crimes in Nicaragua are related to drug addiction.
During the first eight months of 1998, the National Police captured 3,629 kilos of cocaine, 12,697 crack rocks, and 284 pounds of marijuana, as well as 394 Nicaraguan and 23 foreign drug dealers. According to the report, "Last year the National Police placed third in the Central American isthmus in the capture of drugs, and this year it could pass to a higher place."
(La Nacion from AP, Costa Rica, 9/12/98)
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