HomeNewsBriefDid Ecuador Cocaine Seizure Belong to Mexico's Familia Michoacana?
BRIEF

Did Ecuador Cocaine Seizure Belong to Mexico's Familia Michoacana?

ECUADOR / 20 FEB 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Authorities in Ecuador say two large cocaine seizures off the country's coast belonged to Mexico's Familia Michoacana. However, the fact they are basing this assertion on generic packaging logos, coupled with the fact that little remains of the Familia but its offshoots, raises questions about the veracity of the claims.

The 949 kilos haul of cocaine was seized from a fishing boat off the coast of Guayaquil during operation "Daybreak," reported El Comercio.

Police Commander Marcelo Suarez said the logos found on the cocaine packets suggest the load belonged to the Familia Michoacana, as they were similar to those found during a May operation that resulted in the seizure of 470 kilos of cocaine, also supposedly belonging to the Familia. The cocaine in both shipments had the logos of Volvo, BMW, and Toyota as seals of identification, reported Hoy.

SEE ALSO: Familia Michoacana News and Profiles

Authorities believe the fishing boat was en route to transfer the cocaine to a larger vessel destined for Mexico, reported El Comercio.

InSight Crime Analysis

Criminal groups in the region use a wide variety of brand names to mark cocaine, commonly including car company logos, raising questions as to how Ecuadorean authorities are able to use these marks to link the seizures with one specific cartel.

Packets of cocaine usually have two identification symbols. The first is placed directly on the cocaine by the producer before it is packaged. This seal serves as a guarantee of purity and as such, is important for demonstrating the credibility of the producers' merchandise. The second logo is added to the packaging by the supplier as a mark of identification. Large shipments usually come from various suppliers, meaning the logos are important for demonstrating who supplied what.

The statements of the Ecuadorean officials are also surprising given that the Familia is believed to be a largely defunct organization at this point, with many of its senior figures and criminal networks now part of the Knights Templar criminal organization. It is possible the authorities are merely using the old name to refer to the new group. However, it is Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel that is most commonly associated with operations in Ecuador.

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

DRUG POLICY / 5 NOV 2019

For the Ecuadorean province of Esmeraldas on the Pacific side of the Colombia border, 2019 began with a warning that…

BOLIVIA / 17 JAN 2018

Organized crime thrives amid political corruption and uncertainty. There will be plenty of this in Latin America in 2018, helping…

LA FAMILIA MICHOACANA / 2 DEC 2010

The Mexican federal police on Monday arrested José Alfredo Landa Torres, alias "El Flaco," an alleged leader of the Familia…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…