HomeNewsBriefGuatemala's '2nd Biggest' Meth Lab Points to Sinaloa Cartel Migration
BRIEF

Guatemala's '2nd Biggest' Meth Lab Points to Sinaloa Cartel Migration

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 8 MAY 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Guatemala have discovered what they describe as the second biggest methamphetamine laboratory found in the country so far, in a case likely linked to the migration south of Mexico's biggest meth producer: the Sinaloa Cartel.

The laboratory was found in a house in Pueblo Nuevo Viñas, in Guatemala's southeastern Santa Rosa province. The house consisted of four rooms used for the production and storage of methamphetamines and amphetamines, reported Prensa Libre.

Thus far, anti-drug prosecutors have counted nearly one ton of amphetamines and over 350 kilos of meth from the site, which were found in more than 50 plastic barrels. Authorities also discovered precursor chemicals with packaging indicating they were from China and Bangladesh.

Based on the evidence found, authorities estimate approximately three tons of drugs were produced each month at the laboratory.

Investigators believe the drugs produced were sent to Mexico. The group responsible for the laboratory has not been identified, but one official said that three men with Mexican accents attempted to ward them off at the site.

The country's largest synthetic drug laboratory to date was discovered in the Huehuetenango province in September 2012.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although investigators have not determined what drug trafficking group the laboratory belonged to, it is likely the seized narcotics were linked to the Sinaloa Cartel. The group is believed to be Mexico's primary methamphetamine distributor to the United States and there are various signs it has shifted much of its production of the drug into Central American countries, particularly Guatemala.

SEE ALSO: Sinaloa Cartel News and Profile

One of the main reasons for shifting meth production has been increased restriction on precursor chemicals in Mexico, which banned imports of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine in 2008.

In addition to its geographic proximity to Mexico and the Sinaloa Cartel's established presence there, Guatemala's growing importance for meth production is linked to a major trade in precursor chemicals, many of which are smuggled from Asia. For the past several years, authorities in Guatemala have been seeing an increase in seizures of these chemicals.

Other Central American countries have also become involved in the trade. In late 2012, Honduran officials dismantled a synthetic drug production network reportedly linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, and El Salvador has also emerged as a precursor chemical hotspot.

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

COCAINE / 25 DEC 2020

As another Christmas passes us by, drug traffickers have been embracing the season to be jolly with open arms once…

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

FENTANYL / 9 NOV 2021

A recent seizure of fentanyl in Mexico has shed further light on the capacity of organized crime groups to mass-produce…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…