Photo: Mexican Drug Cartels
On March 11, Victor Petrovic Ivanov, director of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation (FSKN) informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that a drug trafficking network linking Central America and Russia headed by Mexican national Martín Sánchez Flores, who is allegedly tied to the Zetas cartel–one of Mexico’s most notorious and brutal organizations–, was dismantled this month.
According to Ivanov, the operation was launched during the beginning of March with the help of Nicaragua. In February 2012, Russia and Nicaragua signed an agreement in which each country vowed to cooperate with one another in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. According to Nicaragua’s El Nuevo Diario, the agreement stipulates the exchange of technical assistance, counsel and information, logistical aid, and coordinated operations against drug trafficking and organized crime.
Ivanov praised his country’s operation with Nicaragua stating that the joint effort and support of Nicaragua has enabled the two countries to gradually sever the extensive contacts of drug trafficking networks in smuggling drugs (namely cocaine) from Central America to Europe and Russia.
Nicaraguan police spokesman Fernando Borge said that during the operation that brought down Flores’ network, Operation Temis, 63 raids were undertaken in Nicaragua–namely Managua, Rivas, Masaya, Matagalpa, and Chinandega–the last of which is where Flores’ was captured.