HomeNewsBriefRecord Meth Seizure Suggests Mexico has New 'Cash Crop'
BRIEF

Record Meth Seizure Suggests Mexico has New 'Cash Crop'

METHAMPHETAMINE / 9 FEB 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The Mexican Army seized a record 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in Jalisco, in a sign that criminal groups in the region are increasingly reliant on the drug, which is easier to produce than cocaine, and immune to the drought currently affecting Mexico's marijuana crops.

The meth had an estimated value of 58 million pesos (about $4.5 million), El Universal reports. Troops found the stash in a suburb of Guadalajara on Wednesday.

The military did not specifiy which Jalisco-based criminal group is thought to have owned the meth. Authorities have said that up to six organizations currently have a presence in the state, which is the cradle of Mexico's meth production. These include the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG, an affiliate of the Sinaloa Cartel) and La Resistencia, an amalgamation of splinter groups from other criminal organizations, currently thought to be allied with the Zetas and opposed to the CJNG.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is relatively unusual for the security forces to seize bulk amounts of pure methaphetamine inside Mexico. According to the most recently available statistics from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the total amount of pure meth seized in Mexico in 2009 was just 8 tons. Mass seizures more typically involve precursor chemicals that are either banned or strictly controlled under Mexican law, like phenylacetic acid, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. The army reported a record seizure of 800 tons of precursor chemicals in July 2011.

That such a large amount of methaphetamine was stockpiled in Jalisco suggests that producers are finding it more financially efficient to handle multi-ton loads, rather than small consignments. This raises the question of whether it belonged to an alliance of organizations -- perhaps the Sinaloa Cartel and their affiliates -- or whether the stash belonged to a single group.

Methamphetamine is relatively cheap to produce and is not at the mercy of shifting weather patterns, unlike Mexico's marijuana and opium producers, who, according to the Mexican Army, have lost much of their crop to a prolonged drought in the northern border states. Along with stiffer competition from the US marijuana industry along the West Coast, this helps explain the jump in Mexico's meth production in recent years. Some 640 meth labs were discovered during the five years of President Felipe Calderon's administration, compared to 60 found during the presidency of Vincente Fox.

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 / 30 AUG 2022

Cocaine in Australia remains difficult to access, with traffickers either selling low-quality or entirely fake doses.

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 MAY 2021

A corruption investigation revealed earlier this week offers a rare chance for Mexico to confront long-rumored bribery between the highest…

FENTANYL / 14 JUL 2022

An announcement by the Mexican government about the largest seizure of illegal fentanyl in the country's history appeared to ignore…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

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…