Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chapo is Carving Out New Route In The Caribbean

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s largest drug-smuggling organization, is working with Dominican criminal groups to establish a Caribbean trafficking route, Dominican and US officials said.

In recent months, Dominican officials have blamed the Mexican group for a handful of murders and stealing a corporate jet under the cloak of early-morning darkness from an airport here. The jet, which was later recovered in Venezuela, was going to be used to transport cocaine from South America, officials said.
Logistically Central
The Sinaloa presence was confirmed when authorities, working with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, the DEA, arrested a Mexican national and confessed Sinaloa member. During interrogation, Luis Fernando Bertolucci Castillo admitted to having a direct line to reputed cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. He was later extradited to the US to face drug charges late last year.
“The Sinaloa cartel is seeking to create a route to Europe using the Dominican Republic,” Dominican Ambassador to the US Anibal de Castro said this month, citing Bertolucci’s statement. That marked the government’s first public acknowledgement of the group’s presence.

The cartel members are also seeking logistical support from Dominicans, according to a member of the Dominican National Direcorate for Drug Control, a branch of the military that combats trafficking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
That includes relying on Dominicans to provide them with small planes for drug flights from the southern Venezuelan state of Apure, as well as obtaining precursors to synthetic drugs such as amphetamines used for crystal meth, the source said.
 So far, the group’s presence appears limited to small cells. However, Sinaloa’s mere existence adds a level of complexity to a country already struggling with a handful of international criminal groups. It also suggests cartels are examining the Caribbean as a supplement to the preferred Central America-Mexico route — a shift US officials have feared.
The Obama administration has warned that the drug war in Mexico would push cartels to increasingly run drugs through the Caribbean. The islands were the preferred routes for notorious kingpins like Pablo Escobar in the 1980s until a US crackdown pushed the trade toward Mexico.
 The DEA and officials in the State Department believe Mexican cartels are looking to gain greater control of turf outside the Central America and Mexico corridor, which receive the bulk of US focus and financial support.
“The handwriting is on the wall. We can see the train. It is coming down the tracks. They will return” to the Caribbean, Assistant Secretary of State William R. Brownfield told a US Senate subcommittee in November. “We know we’re going to have to deal with this crisis again. It is in our interest, in fact it would be the height of folly and stupidity for us, not to prepare for it now and in advance.”
Yet, funding for the chief US program to combat drug trafficking in the region, the Caribbean Security Basin Initiative, dropped to $73 million in the current fiscal year from $77 million last year. By comparison, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton pledged $300 million in funding to Central American countries during a conference last year in Guatemala.
Officials across the Caribbean say they lack the money and training necessary to combat an increase in the drug trade. Some 10 percent of the cocaine bound for the US passes through the islands, with the vast majority still traveling through Central America and Mexico, according to estimates.
Traffickers largely utilize go-fast boats, capable of carrying more than 4,000 pounds of cocaine, to transport drugs.
Source: Global Press

Read Additional Information Here


  1. As silly as this is, I admit I love to keep track of plazas and now some of the international routes of drug trafficking organizations. Chivis Martinez brings me so much information to plot on my big map in my garage. For that I say Gracias, Sr.

  2. Replies
    1. l can,t believe that the US thinks this is
      New news! Granted Mexico is where
      the majority of it crosses but the Carribean has allways been a major
      thruway for drugs in mass amounts!

  3. Am I the only smart guy here that. Already know who's going to win this war I mean. The only one cartel that have the help from the federal govenment is the sinaloa cartel. There is no criminal organization that can be sucessfull with out the help from the govenment . Please zetas be smart for the very first time in your lives and quit this shit while you can if don't and keep on fightting you are going to get killed or locked up.

  4. It was in the 80's, till all the Government interdiction from all sides, effectively closed it down, as well as the shift in Columbian DTOo's to Mexican's seizing control of US distribution, the article says ten percent of the cocaine comes from that route, which leaves 90 coming thru Mexico.

  5. The route is just being carefully it states DR, and that is new for Sinaloa. as the market share increased new routes that simplifies logistics as a "stager" country had to be formed. WHile the caribbean of COURSE has always been used for trafficking I think you missed the significance. Think what Guate is to Mex

    J...what you are talking about is different but correct.

    ....paz C


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