Major shift in Mexico drug cartels’ business — Analysis

According to officials, Mexican drug kingpins now focus on synthetic drugs, such as methamphetamines and fentanyl. They are more easy to manufacture and smuggle.

The shift in their operations is evidenced by the nature of recent drug seizures by Mexican law enforcement, which were detailed by the country’s defense secretary. The Department of Defense is working in close collaboration with civil authorities to combat cartels. On Monday it updated the general public.

“There was a change in consumption [and] a change in drug markets due to the ease of producing synthetic drugs,” said General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, speaking at a news briefing alongside the nation’s president.

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While heroin, marijuana and cocaine have all been out of fashion, it is now that synthetic drugs are more common. said. The trend is explained by the fact that drugs such as methamphetamines and fentanyl are more easy to manufacture and transport.

This change has been evident in recent drug seizures. Sandoval claims that confiscated fentanyl volumes have increased dramatically by 525 percent in three years after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected, when compared to previous years. These same numbers were also found for heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine at 128%, 77% and 26% respectively.

Mexico’s law enforcement have seized 1,852kg (4.083lb), of fentanyl, this is a new record, as compared with just 15kg (33.3lb). Since December 2018, when the new administration began, total drug confiscations have reached 3,497kg (7.710lb), for fentanyl and 124,735kg (274.994lb), for methamphetamine. In 2016, it was only 15kg (33lb). Gen. Sandoval stated that 1,398kg (3.082lb), for heroin.

When asked why his unit had raided fewer laboratories in the three-year period than the prior, the general stated that cartels used larger scale facilities to manufacture or repackage illicit drugs. A decrease in the number of homicides related to organized crime and a reduction in the deaths sustained by military personnel during anti-cartel missions were also mentioned.



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