Nicaragua Claims No ‘Cartel’ Presence, But Past Cases Tell a Different Story

Authorities in Nicaragua are trumpeting their counternarcotics efforts, which they say have kept “cartels” out of the country. But a series of prosecutions of alleged crime bosses shows that sophisticated, large-scale drug trafficking groups do indeed operate in the Central American nation.
Nicaragua’s top military official, Gen. Julio César Avilés, cited the armed forces’ latest drug interdiction statistics as evidence of security forces’ success in keeping trafficking at bay, local media reported on September 2.
Avilés said that the military had seized more than 2.5 metric tons of drugs, most of it cocaine, between September 2016 and August 2017. That amount is slightly less than what the Nicaraguan military reported seizing in its 2016 annual operational summary report, which was published earlier this year, and it is

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