HomeNewsBrief3,000 Mexican 'Drug Mules' Arrested in 41 Countries
BRIEF

3,000 Mexican 'Drug Mules' Arrested in 41 Countries

MEXICO / 1 MAR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

According to a document from Mexico's Secretariat of Exterior Relations, last year 2,892 Mexicans sought consular assistance after arrests in 41 countries for drug trafficking, a sign of the global presence of Mexican trafficking organizations.

In its report, El Excelsior newspaper says more than 2,000 arrests occurred in the United States, 115 in Spain, 107 in Peru, 96 in Panama, 40 in Japan and 3 as far away as Malaysia. In the US, most of the arrest occurred in border states. Houston, Texas accounted for more than 1,000 arrests, while San Diego saw more than 700.

Most of the people arrested were acting as couriers, or "mules" in the language of the report, traveling on airplanes and smuggling between 500 grams and five kilograms of narcotics.

InSight Crime Analysis

The concentration of arrests in Houston and San Diego provides valuable insight into the patterns employed by trafficking organizations in the United States. In other words, despite increased vigilance, traffickers continue to employ tried and true routes of distribution. There is no reason to believe this will abate.

More broadly, the wide distribution of arrests across the world speaks to the potential breadth of influence of Mexican traffickers. From Asia to Europe, Mexicans appear to be overtaking the Colombians in terms of controlling the wholesale points.

Still, it's difficult to draw definitive conclusions. Forty arrests in Japan, for instance, may simply be an effect of good policing rather an increase in the amount of Mexican drug trafficking activities in this country.

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.

Tags

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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 12 FEB 2015

Accusations of sexual abuse have been levied against the Mexican military, already under the spotlight for human rights…

MEXICO / 17 JUN 2011

With losses from oil theft growing rapidly, the director of Mexico’s state oil company has called for a new strategy…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 1 APR 2016

The recent arrest of four Mexicans allegedly involved in a methamphetamine manufacturing operation in Nigeria points to the increased global…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…