Panama installs 19 radars to stem drug trafficking

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2011 8:14 PM
Panama installs 19 radars to stem drug trafficking

Panama is installing a radar system along its coastline to alert it and three other countries, including the United States, of drug trafficking activity.

Panama's Public Safety Ministry says the Central American country has purchased 19 radars and began installing them this month.

U.S. officials will train Panamanian police to operate the system which will generate a database that will be shared with Mexico, Colombia and the U.S, the ministry said Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press.

Vice Minister of Public Safety Alejandro Garuz said the radars will detect both aircraft and ships.

Panama is on a cocaine smuggling corridor between South America and Mexico.

The country purchased the radars and six helicopters from Italy for $250 million.