Army Destroys Hidden Airstrips in Guatemala

May 5, 2006

GUATEMALA CITY – A Guatemalan army anti-drug unit has destroyed, with U.S. help, 80 hidden landing strips in a national park over the last five months of a joint operation, according to officials.

The now-destroyed runways in the Laguna del Tigre Park in northern Guatemala had been constructed by Mexican drugtrafficking organizations, reported the commander of the unit, who requested that his identity not be revealed for security reasons.

The army corps, known as FIT, was created last year on the orders of President Oscar Berger to combat the international drug cartels that use Guatemala as a weight station for shipping narcotics from Colombia to the United States.

Laguna del Tigre Park is in the jungle area that has been declared an ecological reserve, located some 600 kilometers north of the Guatemalan capital near the border with Mexico.

“For years, the drug traffickers have been hiring the residents of nearby towns to clear large sections of forest to construct clandestine airstrips,” the FIT commander said.

To destroy the landing strips, the Guatemalan army used armored personnel carriers and heavy machinery.

 

You may be interested

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
590 views
Weather
590 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
2732 views
Weather
2732 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
753 views
Keylor Navas
753 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…