Nicaragua has arrested 17 people in two days in a crackdown on Mexico’s Sinaloa cocaine cartel, which has established a foothold in the Central American country and reportedly issued death threats against the national police chief, Aminta Granera. The Nicaraguan national police said they uncovered a secret landing strip and seized shotguns, automatic weapons, vehicles and speed-boat engines. The arrests come a month after Nicaraguan authorities said they thwarted a Sinaloa cartel plot to assassinate Granera.
Deputy police chief Carlos Palacios said one of the men arrested had the word “Sinaloa” tattooed on his back, although only two or three of the men were actually Mexican. Palacios said the landing strip was located close to the Pan-American highway.
Last month, US and Panamanian authorities seized 19.4 tons of cocaine on a ship in the Pacific. Fourteen people on the boat were arrested, most of them Mexican. In Mexico itself more than 600 people, many police officers, have been killed so far this year in drug-related violence. (Reuters, April 14)