On Tuesday Mexico's federal government announced the seizure of 194 tons of methylamine, a precursor chemical used in the synthesis of methamphetamine, in the port city of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan.
The joint Semar (Naval Ministry) and PGR (Attorney General's Office) operation discovered the chemicals in 12 containers that were in transit thru the port facility. According to authorities the point of origin of the shipment was China, with the final destination of 10 containers listed as Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala and the remaining 2 containers for Puerto de Corinto, Nicaragua.
This seizure comes in the heels of another operation that netted containers holding 120 tons of precursor chemicals in December in Lazaro Cardenas. That shipment also originated in China and was headed for Guatemala.
It is believed that these seizures point to the growing presence of illicit synthetic drug production operations in Central America by Mexican drug cartels.
On Monday, January 16, President Felipe Calderon was in Lazaro Cardenas to inaugurate the port's modernized customs facilities, specifically designed to address the growing volume in container traffic.