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Friday, May 7, 2021

Mexico's Cartels Are Experimenting With Control of Another Part of the Cocaine Trade

"MX" for Borderland Beat

Mexican marines burn more than 400 kg of cocaine seized in the port city of Veracruz, January, 16, 2018. VICTORIA RAZO/AFP via Getty Images

Mexican drug cartels' longstanding attempts to bring coca plantations out of South America and onto their turf may be bearing fruit.

Mexico's military found and destroyed a 4-hectare plantation of coca in the mountains of Guerrero state in February. This was the third time authorities have found coca plantations in Mexico. The other two were found in the state of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala, in 2014 and 2020, according to reports.

"We are 900 meters above sea level, and the combination of climate, heat, and altitude has allowed the coca cultivation," Mexican army Lt. Col. Enrique Benítez Campoy said during a press conference after the operation in the mountains of Guerrero.

"We know now someone is experimenting with coca harvesting in Guerrero, and it is very alarming as well as what is happening with the introduction of chemicals [such] as fentanyl," Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during his morning press conference days later.

A Mexican soldier next to plastic containers found at a coca plantation and drug lab in El Porvenir, in Mexico's Guerrero state, February 22, 2021. REUTERS/Javier Verdin

Mexican authorities said the plants had been harvested and processed at least four months prior. A lab found afterward contained tools for cocaine manufacturing, suggesting the crops had been processed on-site.

Benítez said that each hectare of the coca leaves would have produced 5 to 7 kilograms of cocaine. He estimated the total value of the final product at about US$12,500, petty cash in the multimillion-dollar cocaine industry.

The first coca field uncovered in Mexico was close to the border with Guatemala in Chiapas in 2014. Authorities found 1,639 plants on about one-third of an acre of land. Although the amount found most recently is the most yet, it is not significant for a transnational operation and suggests a sort of experiment to test the soil, weather, and quality of the coca plants, according to Mexican officials.

A Mexican soldier keeps watch at the site a coca plantation and drug lab found in El Porvenir in Guerrero state, February 22, 2021. REUTERS/Javier Verdin

Still, the recent discovery has set off alarms in Mexico, since this could mean a big change in the dynamics of criminal organizations, transforming Mexico from a cocaine-transit territory to a producer.

Colombia is today the world's largest producer of cocaine and has seen a major increase in coca cultivation since 2017, according to the UN. Authorities in Guatemala and in Honduras have also uncovered plots of coca in recent years.

Mexico drug cartels control most of the trafficking and processing operations that get the drug to US consumers. Colombian officials believe that country's restrictions on precursor chemicals have led Mexican groups to take over more of the refining process, shipping an unfinished form of the drug known as coca base out of the country to be refined into powder in labs elsewhere.

Cartels get creative

A police officer stands on confiscated packages of cocaine on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, July 10, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

While recent discoveries may suggest that Mexican criminal organizations are looking to leave Colombians out of the equation, that might never happen.

Sylvia Longmire, an analyst of the drug war and a former special agent with the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, said the crops recently found in southern Mexico appeared too small to indicate a looming takeover.

"I have no doubt organized crime is behind these experiments. You need to be a professional to grow coca, but still I wouldn't say this is a threat to the Colombians," Longmire told Insider.

Longmire said the few coca plantations in Mexico could be "a small local operation" by one of the cartels.

"The cartels are always looking to be creative finding ways to make money, and they are losing some [money] on marijuana since the US started producing" it for legal sales, Longmire said. "But if it were easy to grow coca in Mexico they would have done it a long time ago."

Authorities say it's not known which criminal organization could be behind the coca plantations, but according to official data there are six cartels currently operating in Guerrero: Guerreros Unidos, Los Rojos, La Familia, Cartel Independiente de Acapulco, Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and Cartel del Pacífico (Sinaloa Cartel).

Anti-drug police stand around sacks of coca leaves in Arauca department in northeast Colombia, January 20, 2009. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

Rafael Guarin, presidential adviser for security in Colombia, has said only four Mexican cartels are the main players in Colombia's cocaine trade.

"Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generacion, Zetas, and Beltran Leyva are the principal buyers of the supply of coca produced in Colombia," Guarin told Reuters in October 2020.

Longmire wouldn't guess which cartel could be behind the coca experiments in Mexico but said nothing will change any time soon in terms of distribution.

"If the case was that Mexico could grow coca in the future, Colombia is still going to need a distributor, and Mexicans have the control of that all around the world … so I wouldn't say this is going to get anywhere soon," Longmire said.

Conditions in each country mean production levels are also unlikely to change dramatically.

"I don't think it's a matter of time. It's a matter that coca is very hard to grow anywhere else in the world [outside] of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. It needs a very specific set of resources," Longmire added.

The DEA didn't respond to a request for comment on the coca found in Mexico. No one was arrested on any of the three illegal coca plantations found in Mexico, and authorities there have not yet shared any updates on the investigations.

Source: Business Insider

28 comments:

  1. I always wondered why Coca was only grown in Colombia ,Peru and Bolivia.

    If Mexican Cartels start growing Coca en Mexico they will become 3 times richer than the government

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to read well. There is already answer:

      "I don't think it's a matter of time. It's a matter that coca is very hard to grow anywhere else in the world [outside] of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. It needs a very specific set of resources," Longmire added"

      It's all about "Climatic conditions". You can't take a coca seed and grow it everywhere you want. If temperature will be ok, then altitude will be NOT. If altitude and temperature will be ok, then humidity will not enough. And so on. May be one day mexican DTO's will find the way and pretty good combined conditions to grow some coca in Mexico. But right now it is nothing but a funny experiment. You need to grow and getting huge weight of coca leaves to turn it into something serious. 100 kg of leaves = ~1 kg of cocaine.

      Correct me, if i wrong about raw weight and pure product.

      Delete
    2. GMO seeds soon.

      Delete
    3. 8;19 AM YOU VERRY WRONG
      JUST READ THIS 😂 In order to make 1 kilogram of cocaine, drug producers need to cultivate around 370 kilograms of coca leaf, or over 800 pounds. The producers need over two acres of land in order to grow enough coca leaf to create a kilo of cocaine .KIOBOLE.

      Delete
    4. 2:26 PM - Thanks for the notice. Then it requires 370 kilo's of raw leaves. Haaa! Even more than I thought.

      Delete
    5. The hardest part is finding the banned chemicals to process the mariguana into cocaine and crack, what with the price of Baking Soda and petrol being sky high, wives also have become woke aware and put their nail cleaner in the safe box.

      Delete
    6. De Koninklijke Nederlandsche cocaïnefabriek.
      Was a Dutch company in Amsterdam witch produced cocaïne and grow the coca plant in Java Indonesia

      For the first world War soldiers.
      So it is possible to grow tons of coca crops in Indonesia

      Delete
    7. De Koninklijke Nederlandsche cocaïnefabriek.
      Read all about it,... we the Dutch made royal cocaïne in Java Indonesia.
      And tons of it we produced for the soldiers fighting in world War one.

      Delete
    8. De Koninklijke Nederlandsche cocaïnefabriek.
      Read all about it,... we the Dutch made royal cocaïne in Java Indonesia.
      And tons of it we produced for the soldiers fighting in world War one.
      Why don't you make a report about this story in Borderlandbeat

      Delete
  2. Where did the amount of $12,500 US come from for 5-7 kilos per hectare of coca leaves. They busted a 4 hectare growth which comes up to 20-28 kilos. Each Kilo in the US is roughly $15,000 per kilo. I would really like to know where you can buy 20 kilos for $12,500 US so I can retire ASAP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 15K that's low, I thought it was 25K the lowest ... I agree with you the amount is ridiculously low especially compared to the US...it would have been half a million worth...lol

      Delete
    2. You can probably buy 20 keys for 12,500 in colombia! Directly from the manufactors! You know the labs!

      Delete
    3. K in US close to borders is dropping. 20-26 depending on quality

      Delete
    4. Not US prices these are whole sale prices in Mexico genius. Whoever was growing 5-7 kilos did not mean to sell wholesale in Mexico or even for $20k crumbs in the US. Try Australia or New Zeland and tell me if it makes sense for such investment or not. You can make more from 1 kilo than 15 of them in places around the world. This is why Cuinis are so wealthy.

      Delete
  3. well it says because it is harder to grow in Mexico than there....

    ReplyDelete
  4. 7 US military bases in Colombia and a few hundred platoon details around them translates into a lotta security for cocaine trafficking, add peruvian and bolivian and Voilá all over again, they better watch the bizness, because we are getting out of Afghanistan that went 1000% in Heroin production ad soon as they got invaded by anti-taliban fighters assisted by their beloved "dancing boys".
    But blame Hugo chavez anyway,
    we eat all kind of sourpuss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colombiandoes not produce coca leaves, they just process and refine some, but Colombia is the Main Staging Area for distribution worldwide.

      Delete
    2. Colombia does produce some amount of coca, there was a program for many years when the Colombian cartels were the dominant trafficking organization to produce a variety of coca that was suited to cultivation in Colombia's climate. It's true that the types cultivated in Peru aren't suited to humid jungle lowlands.

      I don't have a statistic or a guess about how much is now grown in Colombia or Venezuela, you'd probably have to ask a Dutch or Spanish cocaine trafficker.

      Delete
  5. Why can't they make synthetic coke? Like China White is synthetic heroin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are called "clones" trash tho.

      Delete
    2. It's been tried, there were details of it I read here on BB during the Chapo trial coverage

      Delete
    3. Its called ice, methamphetamines moron.

      Delete
  6. You can’t properly grow coca in Mexico. The weather is not stable enough to grow consistently. Coco needs lots of rain and humidity to fully mature. If it was that easy it would have been done in the 70s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are plenty of places in Mexico with lots of rain and humidity, the area around Orizaba in Veracruz for instance. I think coca is also like coffee, it can only grow at certain altitudes. The old Folgers Coffee slogan "Mountain Grown" is a laugh, all coffee is mountain grown.

      Delete
    2. De Koninklijke Nederlandsche cocaïnefabriek.
      Produced tons of cocaïne in Java Indonesia.
      The Dutch where so smart.

      Delete
  7. The thing that people need to understand is the cartels hire Mexico's finest university trained chemists, engineers, biologists and so on as part of their business model. Their is stories of these people being kidnapped for refusing to work for cartels because it went against their principles. These are well educated people that have integrity and not 2 bit thugs that are harming our own Raza.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hydroponic set up like people do for weed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genetic modified GMO coca leaves yield better results, they are working on making basements produce it on the US, it worked with grifa.
      Some day coca leaves will turn into queso right on the branch, meanwhile, you, pinchis viciosos can keep trapping turds to smoke from condemned urban housing developments' sewers.

      Delete

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