HomeNewsBriefMexico's 44 Tn Marijuana Bust Points to Ongoing Use of Land Routes
BRIEF

Mexico's 44 Tn Marijuana Bust Points to Ongoing Use of Land Routes

MEXICO / 5 MAY 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Authorities in Tijuana, Mexico have seized 44 tons of marijuana, indicating that despite an increased reliance on Caribbean and Pacific drug routes traffickers continue to smuggle large quantities overland.

Acting on a federal warrant, the Mexican military and local police raided a warehouse in Tijuana on May 1, reported USA Today. They discovered around 4,000 packets of marijuana with an estimated US street value of $50 million. No arrests were made during the raid.

This seizure comes just six months after the discovery of a sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel running between Tijuana and San Diego, California. Seven other similar tunnels and large quantities of marijuana have also been discovered in San Diego since 2006.

InSight Crime Analysis

Tijuana's proximity to San Diego makes it a strategic crossing point for drugs, and the largest quantity of marijuana ever seized in Mexico -- close to 150 tons -- was discovered in that city in 2010. While no arrests have been made, the most recent seizure is likely linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, which has controlled most of Tijuana's drug trade since winning a bloody turf war against the Arellano Felix Organization, also known as the Tijuana Cartel.

SEE ALSO: Sinaloa Cartel News and Profile

Although drug traffickers are increasingly relying on maritime Caribbean and Pacific coast routes, this seizure highlights the continued importance of overland routes to criminal organizations. The warehouse was located in a neighborhood relatively far inland, indicating that the marijuana was most likely waiting to cross the land border, rather than be taken out to cross at sea.

The seizure additionally highlights the continued importance of marijuana as a source of revenue to drug traffickers. Although cocaine and methampthetamine garner much more attention, a former senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) estimated in 2012 that marijuana sales made up 17 percent of US revenue for Mexican cartels. According to a US Justice Department report (pdf), potential marijuana production in Mexico increased by 113 percent between 2005 and 2010, a phenomenon attributed to decreased crop eradication.  

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

EL CHAPO / 10 NOV 2015

News outlets in Mexico are reporting contradictory stories about whether the Jalisco and Sinaloa Cartels are friends,…

EL CHAPO / 8 MAR 2016

Jailed Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s team of supporters has launched a media campaign in which, despite the…

BARRIO 18 / 22 JAN 2020

Colombia’s last rebel army is now the most powerful criminal syndicate in Latin America, as it expands across Colombia and…

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…