US to step up anti-narcotics fight in Puerto Rico

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Associated Press

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's representative in Congress says additional federal law enforcement agents will be deployed to the U.S. territory this summer to help fight a surge in drug-fueled violence.

Pedro Pierluisi said Thursday that the Department of Defense also will provide a report in the next three months on what actions it's taking to crack down on drug trafficking in the region.

His spokeswoman Dennise Perez says they do not yet know how many agents will be sent to Puerto Rico.

The House Appropriations Committee has said data seems to indicate that U.S. Caribbean territories have become a popular transshipment route for drug traffickers.

The island of 3.7 million people reported a record 1,117 killings in 2011, with police attributing the majority of slayings to drug trafficking.

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