The prompt intervention of the Naval Force, the National Civil Police (PNC), and the Attorney General’s Office to combat international and retail drug activity allowed for the seizure of just over 13 tons of all kinds of drugs during 2022, valued at $303.75 million.
These actions to combat drug trafficking caused the seizures made last year to exceed those registered in 2021, according to Defense Minister René Francis Merino Monroy.
“We have exceeded the drug seizures that we had achieved in 2021, which was also the best year in the fight against drug trafficking, in such a way that in the year that has just ended, 13,020 kilograms of different types of drugs were seized, which, in money terms, is $303.75 million that will no longer circulate in the hands of criminals,” he said.
Police statistics detail that, at the end of 2021, 11.8 tons of drugs with an estimated value of $273.89 million were seized. The official evaluated these results as historical, since in previous governments such important confiscations were not obtained.
The military chief stated that the retail sale of drugs had become a profitable business for the gangs, as the profits were used to fund their criminal activities.
“What gave life to the gangs were the different sources of financing they had, one of them was the product of drug trafficking, and in this way, during the year that ended, we improved operations against drug trafficking both internationally and within our territory,” he said.
On other occasions, the Minister of Defense explained that the operations that have ended in the seizure of millions of drugs have meant that El Salvador has become a benchmark in Latin America for the fight against drug trafficking since the interceptions of drug boats that transit the Salvadoran coast on their way to Guatemala and Mexico have become more successful.
Official records indicate that during the administration of President Bukele, more than 28 tons of drugs with an economic value exceeding $645 million have been seized; of that total, 19.5 tons were intercepted on the high seas, whose value is $488.4 million.
In 2022, more than 100 people linked to international trafficking were captured, including more than 40 Salvadorans and more than 75 foreigners, including Guatemalans, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, Colombians, and Nicaraguans.