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

FENTANYL / 18 APR 2022

Mexican authorities have intercepted a succession of flights carrying synthetic drugs to the northern state of Sonora, raising questions over…

MEXICO / 10 MAY 2013

Hydrocarbon theft in Mexico so far this year has nearly doubled in comparison with 2012, with the worst hit zones…

MEXICO / 11 JAN 2011

A recent investigation by Mexico City’s Attorney General may shed light on the effect of assassinating cartel leaders, a strategy…

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…