HomeNewsBriefMexico Inaugurates 'Strategic Center' to Fight Domestic Drug Trade
BRIEF

Mexico Inaugurates 'Strategic Center' to Fight Domestic Drug Trade

MEXICO / 8 AUG 2012 BY CLAIRE O'NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Mexico’s Attorney General announced the creation of a new strategic center in Puebla state as part of a joint federal-state effort to fight domestic drug trafficking.

At the announcement of the opening of the new "Center for Strategic Operations" on July 23, Attorney General Marisela Morales called "micro-trafficking," or domestic drug sales, one of the country's gravest problems, due to the violence caused as gangs compete for control of the local market, reported El Universal.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Governor Rafael Moreno Valle and other Puebla state officials, Morales highlighted the danger of drug addiction to working youth, students, and minors and warned that domestic drug sales and consumption are eroding Mexico’s social fabric.

The purpose of the new center in Puebla is to improve institutional cooperation among state and federal authorities. Specifically, the center will investigate where and what kinds of drugs are sold, the networks of distribution, and other “crimes against health.” Morales signalled the Attorney General Office’s intention to create similar strategic centers throughout the country.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the number of drug users in Mexico remains relatively small compared to those of developed countries, especially the United States, domestic drug consumption has increased over the past decade. Mexico’s most recent National Survey of Addiction, released in 2008, showed that consumption of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine has risen. In February, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Córdoba announced that Mexico has an estimated 450,000 hard drug users.

Micro-trafficking also presents a growing challenge for the Mexican government due to its role in the changing nature of Mexico’s criminal landscape. As Mexico’s large drug trafficking organizations become increasingly fragmented, smaller gangs fight to control “the corner” (small territories) rather than “the plaza” (larger territories). Some analysts predict that as domestic drug consumption continues to rise, so will violence connected to micro-trafficking.

So far Mexico’s efforts to combat micro-trafficking show few signs of success. In August 2009, Mexico passed a law that legalized personal possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, intended to target street-level dealers and cut down on the incarceration of drug users. However, as of January 2011, the number of people detained for drugs possession in Mexico's Federal District had increased 450 percent since 2002.

According to a report by the Washington Office on Latin America, the law has done little to help curb prison overpopulation and eliminate major dealers: half of prisoners incarcerated for selling drugs in Mexico’s Federal District were arrested for possessing less than $100 worth of narcotics.

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

MERIDA INITIATIVE / 1 NOV 2010

The New York Times published a piece Friday on the push to reform Mexico's security forces.

EPR / 28 NOV 2012

Mexico's Navy has warned that two small but dedicated guerrilla groups in the country are arming themselves…

CARTEL DE SINALOA / 22 OCT 2020

The walls have now been patched up. There is nothing left on the streets but dust; customers are ready to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.