Colombia’s drug cartels have special assault teams stationed throughout Central America, and along the coast of Honduras in particular, the Nicaraguan navy reported Friday.

Marvin Corrales, the head of Nicaragua’s navy, said his troops confirmed Colombian drug networks’ strategy July 14 after confiscating a boat off the Caribbean coast containing more than 430kg of cocaine. Four drug traffickers attempted to defend the boat against navy encroachment using techniques common to modern military assault teams, Corrales said. After an intense gun battle, the four men abandoned the vessel and escaped into the mountains.

On board, the military found rifles, night vision goggles, smart phones, jungle camouflage and radio communication devices — equipment one would expect to find in the military, Corrales added. “Colombia sends high quality military equipment to Honduran crime groups,” he said, creating “highly dangerous special operations.”

Nicaragua’s director of army intelligence and counterintelligence confirmed reports that organized crime networks were entrenched along the Caribbean coast of Honduras — and “they have strong ties with Colombian elements,” he said.

From Colombia Reports