HomeNewsBriefBengal Tigers, Deer Found at Mexican Meth Lab
BRIEF

Bengal Tigers, Deer Found at Mexican Meth Lab

MEXICO / 1 MAR 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Mexican police investigating a tip-off in Jalisco state discovered not only a methamphetamine lab but also two Bengal tigers and several deer, which were likely destined for one of the "narco-zoos" popular with wealthy drug kingpins.

Police raided two sites after locals reported seeing armed men on a ranch near the border between Jalisco and Zacatecas, reported El Universal. At the first were the caged but apparently healthy animals and a strong smell of precursor chemicals. At the second were 15 vats and equipment for production of methamphetamine.

By the time the authorities arrived, the sites had been abandoned, and no arrests were made.

InSight Crime Analysis

Perhaps inspired by Pablo Escobar's famous Hacienda Napoles ranch in Colombia, and its menagerie of exotic animals -- now a popular theme park -- rare and unusual creatures have become something of a status symbol for Mexican traffickers. The practice has become so widespread that the Mexican authorities have had problems rehousing all the animals seized from narco-zoos on traffickers' properties.

International police body Interpol estimates the global trade in wildlife trafficking to be worth $10-20 billion a year, and says that Latin American criminal groups act as traffickers as well as purchasers. A recent investigation into the trade in Bolivia revealed the extent of the practice in the country, where captured exotic animals are both exported and sold domestically in markets as pets, food and for use in rituals. The most popular animals sold as pets are parrots and other talking birds, turtles and monkeys, according to FM Bolivia.

Colombia has also emerged as a hotspot in animal trafficking, and the trade there is reportedly worth an estimated $35 million a year. In 2012 Colombian police rescued over 46,000 illegaly trafficked animals.

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

MEXICO / 2 DEC 2013

Authorities in Mexico have announced the formation of a national network to register, and search for, the country's disappeared, an…

JUAREZ CARTEL / 6 JAN 2011

The Attorney General's Office is now offering rewards from 10 to 15 million pesos (about US$822,000 and $1.2 million) for…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 12 FEB 2014

A four-year analysis of human trafficking in Mexico by the National Citizen Observatory has found persistently high levels of impunity…

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…