Authorities in Mexico have seized nearly 19 tons of marijuana in the state of Sinaloa, but the country's total marijuana seizures in 2014 are still on track to finish slightly behind 2013 levels.
On July 8, agents from the Attorney General's Office and the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) seized 18,843 kilos of marijuana and slightly more than a kilo of methamphetamine on a property in the state's capital city of Culiacan, reported El Universal. Most of the packages of marijuana were discovered in a truck on the property, which was seized during the operation along with a dump truck.
According to official sources consulted by Excelsior, members of the Pacific Cartel -- a Sinaloa Cartel faction -- were responsible for transporting the drugs. The traffickers fled before the raid on the property, however, and no one was captured during the operation.
Between January 1 and June 30 this year, Sedena seized nearly 300 tons of marijuana in Mexico.
InSight Crime Analysis
Although it is difficult to determine the total quantity of marijuana seizures in Mexico, as different agencies report figures from different security forces, seizures so far in 2014 appear on track to be slightly lower than those of previous years. Sedena seized over 757 tons of marijuana between January and December 2013 and around 1,142 tons between January and November 2012.
Sedena figures do not include federal police seizures, however. Although the federal police have not yet published seizure information for the first six months of 2014, they seized 20 tons of marijuana in the first several days of 2014 alone. From December 1, 2012 to mid-October 2013 -- nearly the first year of President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration -- federal police seized 82 tons of marijuana.
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The fact that the Mexican authorities are seizing large quantities of marijuana is not surprising as Mexico has long been a major marijuana producer and is one of the principal suppliers of the US market. However, the slight decrease in seizures so far this year suggests there may have been some changes, either in the tactics employed by security forces or in the supply chain.