HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Overwhelmed by Seizures of Drug Chemicals
BRIEF

Guatemala Overwhelmed by Seizures of Drug Chemicals

GUATEMALA / 13 JAN 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

In an indication that Guatemala lacks the resources to deal with the tide of drug precursor chemicals entering the country, the US Embassy has warned its citizens not to travel to certain areas of Guatemala City due to the improper storage of chemicals seized by the authorities.

According to Spanish news agency EFE, the embassy advised US citizens to refrain from going to Zone 6 in Guatemala City. Some 8,800 barrels of precursor chemicals, used to make synthetic drugs and all confiscated in the past month by Guatemalan authorities, are being kept by the Anti-Narcotics Analysis and Information Division (DAIA).

While the embassy assured citizens that the Guatemalan government is taking the necessary steps to mitigate any public safety issues, this appears to run counter to a report in La Prensa Libre suggesting that a school in Zone 6 has long requested the removal of these substances due to the threat posed to its students.

Agents at the DAIA have reported that working with these substances has affected their health.

InSight Crime Analysis

The sharp rise in the confiscation of precursor chemicals in Guatemala comes as Mexican cartels have started to diversify into synthetic drugs — methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy — and push production outside of their own country. It is believed that Mexico’s largest trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, may even now be producing as much methamphetamine in Guatemala, if not more, than they do in Mexico.

In some ways, Guatemala is suffering the consequences of its success in intercepting these chemicals. In 2011, Guatemalan authorities seized 1,600 tons of precursor chemicals, marking a 400 percent increase on the previous year. In October, in the Guatemalan port of Quetzal, the authorities ran out of space to store thousands of tons of precursor chemicals that they had seized.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

JALISCO CARTEL / 10 JUN 2015

A Mexican government official has declared that only two drug cartels remain in the country, a claim that is debatable,…

GUATEMALA / 19 MAY 2011

In the wake of a massacre in northern Guatemala, observers have been left with the question of why the Zetas…

CIACS / 20 JUN 2011

Guatemala has already seen over 20 political murders linked to the 2011 elections. The indications are that violence will continue,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…