Cerro Patocon, Panama — Panamanian authorities destroyed 4.7 tones of cocaine in Cerro Patacon on Friday.
Soldiers were seen drenching drug packages with gasoline and then setting fire to them.
Security forces in the Central American country have recently been involved in large drug busts.
Only last week, authorities seized 7.9 tones of cocaine in two separate raids, in what is thought to be the country’s biggest drug busts.
Panamanian police and the National Naval Service, found 4.9 tones of the narcotics hidden close to the coastal River Belen, nearly 186 miles northeast of the capital.
Also last week, after a chase and shootout with traffickers, Panama seized three tones of cocaine close to River Concepcion, also northeast of the capital.
Authorities said the street value of the cocaine haul was worth about $1 billion dollars in the United States. The drugs originated in Colombia and were headed to 13 criminal organizations in the U.S.
“We’re getting rid of 4.7 tones of cocaine. This is part of extensive work carried out by members of the police, including that of institutes like SENAN (National Naval Service). We are working hard to rid this from the streets and especially our families, our neighborhoods, our community. You see this product now, you can see the chemicals being used which are burning now and that is what poisons people. We have to continue in this fight,” said Panama’s chief of Police, Gustavo Perez.
Central America and Mexico are the main transit points for South American cocaine destined for U.S. markets.