Doris Gómora for El Universal - Mexican cartels have established business alliances with gangs operating in places like Afganistán and Turkey, in order to obtain and smuggle drugs to supply Europe and North America, according to investigator Edgardo Buscaglia, a fellow at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).
In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Buscaglia confirmed that Mexican narcotraffickers operate like multinational emissaries "to establish contacts and place operatives that can deal with the Turkish and Indian criminal organizations in order to facilitate the production and sale of drugs," specifically heroin.
Buscaglia says that according to his investigation, these criminal groups operate on an international level, and their bases of operations are located in México.
“It is in the interest of these Mexican groups (specifically the Sinaloa alliance) that they open smuggling routes for the distribution of heroin to the U.S. market. Furthermore, they are not only focusing on the movement of Afghan heroin through Mexico; they are also taking positions of power as major players in the international world of the heroin trade," according to Buscaglia, who is also the director the International Center of Legal and Economic Development.
Strategic Global Alliances
According to Buscaglia, the strategic alliances between the cartels of México and the Middle Eastern group becomes potentially closer to being a fact with each passing rumor.
“It is not as if (Joaquín) El Chapo Guzmán (Loera) himself travels to Turkey, it is up to his emissaries to maintain good relations in that country. They keep the flow of heroin packages and money that belongs to the Sinaloa cartel moving to their appropriate destinations. Money and heroin make its way to Chicago, or New York. It is like the concept of outsourcing labor: the Mexican cartels receive the product from their overseas suppliers and they distribute the merchandise locally," Edgardo Buscaglia explained to his interview with El Universal.
The shipments that arrived to Canadá and the U.S. are very profitable to the criminal groups of the southern henisphere, but the product itself is produced in Afganistán, where 90% of the worlds heroin supply comes from, says Buscaglia.
“The Mexican groups arrive to the Turkish and Afghan markets with contacts established by emissaries or companies where cartel members hold minor positions. Often, the exporters themselves come with the credentials of being overseas suppliers and representatives of people in the business of illicit services,” he explained.
Once bought, the heroin supply arrives to the North and Central American market, “these emissaries often exchange drugs for arms, or for other items. Nothing is out of the question, it really just depends on the region."
Buscaglia assured that“Mexican groups are gaining a presence on the world stage , not only in drug trafficking, but also in the arms smuggling and money laundering schemes of Romania and Bulgaria. They are also making inroads into the European Union markets”.
The patriarchal position of the Mexican cartels has expanded and has benefited the groups operating deep in the heart of their home country, very similar to the Italian and Russian mafias benefited when those groups dominated the world stage.
In this sense, the ATIM fellow said this confirms in part why the drug cartels are using weapons manufactured in Asia; it is because of the fluid interchange of drugs and arms.
“The most important gun suppliers at the moment (other than the U.S. and China) are the Russians and the Albanians. Places where the purchase of illegal arms is often made in drugs" concluded Buscaglia.