HomeNewsAnalysis'Potapult' Video from Mexico
ANALYSIS

'Potapult' Video from Mexico

US/MEXICO BORDER / 31 JAN 2011 BY STEVEN DUDLEY EN

In the most curious story of the weekend, authorities in Mexico, acting on a tip, seized a catapult and 45 pounds of marijuana that smugglers wanted to launch over the Arizona border. InSight Crime brings you, via the Tuscon Sentinel, the video of the catapult.

Perhaps the oddest thing about the video (shown below), which is dated 21 January, are the unexplained pictures at the tail end of it that show a group of Mexican soldiers launching a package (presumably on their side of the border) from what the news headlines termed a "potapult."

One can only suppose they were testing its utility to prove their case in court against those who were captured. However, there are no reports of anyone captured.

Creativity is a hallowed part of the drug trafficking profession. The traffickers have hidden drugs in virtually any product you can think of – peppers, toilet paper, bananas, oil and gas tubes, dolls, etc.

But while cocaine and heroin can fit into small spaces and be camouflaged easily, marijuana poses an entirely different challenge because of its bulk.

Mexican authorities say most cocaine and heroin enter the United States in containers through the major passages points like Nuevo Laredo and Juarez, but marijuana moves through the 'puntos ciegos,' or blind spots, where there are no authorities.

These include places where smugglers have been known to smother dirt on the Rio Grande to facilitate the temporary passage of large container trucks.

To be sure, sophisticated tunnels have run beneath the border since the 1980s, mostly as a means to move marijuana and for human smuggling operations.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COVID AND CRIME / 12 JAN 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has forced migrant shelters in Mexico to close or limit capacity, exacerbating an already precarious situation for…

EL SALVADOR / 13 DEC 2021

Efforts to reduce gang violence are often thought of as highly dependent on local conditions, but a recent report looks…

GUATEMALA / 4 FEB 2022

A former Guatemala mayor and his family have been accused of smuggling more than a dozen migrants later massacred in…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…