Recently the Mexican Army seized 15 tons of pure methamphetamine in the western state of Jalisco. This amount is said to be equivalent to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009 and has an estimated U.S. street value of $4 billion. While most are familiar with Mexican importation of marijuana and Columbian cocaine, the importation of meth is a relatively new trend in the importation of elicit drugs from Mexico.
The reasons for Mexican importation of meth are many. For one, meth is another source of revenue for the drug cartels. If the drug cartels can find a new way to increase their revenue, they are certain to take advantage of it. The second reason, going along with the first, is that Mexico can produce the meth themselves without the reliance on Columbia that is necessary in cocaine importation. By cutting out the middle man, they are able to reap more profits.
Such a large seizure being made calls into question the efforts of Mexican authorities in policing the illegal drug trade. How was it possible to stockpile 15 tons of meth? Certainly United States officials will be asking questions of Mexican authorities in the wake of this seizure. This latest seizure is another prime example of the multitude of problems facing Mexican as well as U.S. law enforcement in policing the drug trade. How should the U.S. respond to this latest seizure? How could the U.S. and Mexico combine their resources to better police the drug trade?
For more on this seizure go to:
Discovering drugs being stored in this amount is astounding and it leads to wondering how a discovery like this should be interpreted. On one hand, it is a good thing, because it means that it is 15 tons of Meth that will not make it to the streets. However, it does lead to wondering how that volume was able to be produced without being detected. I have read that many meth labs had been discovered in that area recently so it seems likely that the Mexican police were aware that meth production had begun but it seems that they did not suspect that it had reached that level. This discovery also raises the question of why there was such a great volume stored. From further reading I learned that only approximately 1/3 of what was uncovered was processed meth and the rest were precursor chemicals. However, why had the finished product been stored and allowed to build up to that volume and not just have been sold?
Many areas in Mexico are so remote it is hard for police or federal authorities to track down these production facilities. Meth is made with made common everyday products, which makes it difficult to track. Drugs that need specific components from other countries like Columbia provide many more chances for interception. This is a huge win against the drug war. Usually drug cartels have so many shipments going across borders at different times and locations. They know they are bound to lose some of their product, often losing millions without batting their eyes. I hope losing 4 billion dollars put a real dent in their business!
It seems almost unbelievable that 15 tons of pure methamphetamine had went undetected; however, what is more troubling is that Mexico’s drug problem seems to be getting worse. The fact that such a massive quantity of meth was found seems to indicate that there are large drug cartels at work, but I guess we will have to just wait and see who the police are able to trace the drugs to.
It is very interesting to consider how Mexican’s may be venturing into the world of meth in order to cut out the middleman in their drug schemes. It is also interesting that such a substantial quantity of meth was found, which could mean that there are many buyers of the drug. Fortunately, the police were able to seize the drugs and therefore take a huge supply of meth off the market, but I am sure that there is more where that came from.
I was somewhat surprised to read that Mexico is now exporting massive quantities of Meth. I always viewed the drug as one that was easily produced domestically, and there was no real need for importation from Mexico. According to the New York Times, the Sinaola cartel is believed to be Mexico’s main producer of Meth, “partly because it has a reputation for being the world’s most multinational and sophisticated cartel. And some experts say that the seizure . . . suggests that Sinaoloa is producing more than ever before.” But, what effect will this massive seizure actually have on the drug market? Eric Olson, a security expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars says the amount of the seizure is staggering, but it probably will not have a long effect on the drug trade in the long run. “But seizures, even huge ones, don’t generally change the demand for the drug in the long run. If the seizure of this magnitude raises the street price, consumption may go down for a time, but it is only a matter of time until the market adjusts and the supply comes back up.”
It doesn’t surprise me that Mexico is producing this drug in such large quantities. The United States has been battling the scourge of methamphetamines for some time, and have embarked on efforts to curb its production. For example, in Connecticut individuals purchasing over the counter medication which can be used in the production of meth must present identification, etc. Because it has become increasingly difficult to produce this drug domestically, it should come as no surprise that Mexico is producing this drug in increasingly larger quantities.