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Methamphetamine Trafficking From Mexico to US is Exploding

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 11, 2017, 2:30 pm
A US crackdown on ephedrine has created a lucrative opening for Mexican cartels to manufacture meth (
A US crackdown on ephedrine has created a lucrative opening for Mexican cartels to manufacture meth (Vix).

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An investigation by Financiero Bloomberg has revealed that methamphetamine trafficking between Mexico and the United States has gained strength while Mexican efforts in border security and interdiction are in “a historic dip” based on statistical reports from the DEA, Border Patrol, as well as the National Defense Secretariat of the Aztec country.

According to the newspaper’s report, the Mexican government has reduced seizures of methamphetamine in the border states, while in the United States they have increased. Meth-related deaths are also on the rise.

According to figures from the Mexican Department of Defense, seizures in the Aztec country during 2016 compared to 2015, decreased by 35.2%, while the US Border Patrol increased seizures of meth by 139%.

The majority of meth that enters the American market is manufactured in Mexico, and then transported across the border.

The Border Patrol data also gives a more accurate picture of the gains made by Mexican cartels in the methamphetamine business as the value of the seizures made in the last five years exceeds USD $3 billion, a figure that is three times as high as the entire budget of the National Defense Secretariat, and eight times higher than that of the Mexican Federal Police.

According to the DEA and the Department of Homeland Security, New York City, El Paso, Laredo, Rio Grande, and Tucson are the key hubs for illicit substance trafficking and it is in those places where the most powerful cartels have been consolidating their power: Los Zetas, Sinaloa Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Gulf Cartel and New Generation Jalisco Cartel.

While meth was once largely produced domestically, a nationwide crackdown on the chemicals required to produce the lethal drug, greatly expanded the role of Mexican cartels in manufacturing and distribution. Ephedrine, a key ingredient of some cold medications, was once widely available over the counter, but was heavily restricted by the US government, in a bid to make it more difficult to produce meth in small-scale laboratories.

Source: El Financiero Bloomberg

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.