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Tuesday, June 18 2019 @ 08:39 PM UTC

SENAFRONT Says Local Guna Yala Leader Sold Boat Used To Traffic Drugs

Drug TraffickingThe Director of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) Frank Abrego said a "saila" (local community leader) in Carti Tupile allegedly sold a boat that had been used for drug trafficking in the Guna Yala region for $9,000 dollars. Abrego said they have already opened an investigation into this case. Last week SENAFRONT officers and officials from the Anti Drug Prosecutor's Office from Colon attempted to seize this vessel, but the local "sailas" refused to turn it over. Abrego said on the channel 2 TVN morning news broadcast that the "salia" said he sold the boat to a Colombian, but he could not remember his personal information.

Congress - About the relationship between the SENAFRONT and the General Congress of the Guna Yala, Abrego said it's good, and in fact several of their officers have explained the importance of their work in this area. Abrego said there are only two or three "sailas" who are causing some problems in the region, but the rest are working with the local authorities of the entity. Abrego said the Attorney General Jose Ayu Prado has a good relationship with the General Congress of Guna Yala.

On 10 July 2012 officials from the Anti Drug Prosecutor's Office of Colon, and from the Office of Real Heritage of the Ministry of Finance tried to seize the boat, but they could not because the local authorities in Cartí Tupile refused to cooperate. A spokesman from the community said the General Congress of Guna Yala told them that the boat had supposedly been abandoned by drug traffickers belong to them. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: The big blue and yellow boat in the photo is the boat in question. In many cases it's the Guna Yala people themselves who are either trafficking the drugs, helping the drug traffickers, or in other ways profiting or benefiting from the drug trafficking. Like in this case they kept the "abandoned" boat and sold it for $9,000 in cash. In Panama City these stories of intransigence on the part of the Guna Yala people evoke responses of "how dare they." And of course, this is often exactly the same response generated among the Guna Yala people when the SENAFRONT or Prosecutors come to their islands to make demands. So, they can investigate all they want, but in the meantime the boat is gone, the money has been divided up, and the local "salia" is on his island, swinging in a hammock, watching the clouds drift by, without a care in the world. Go ahead, try to arrest him. You'll never make it 30 feet off the beach...

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