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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Culiacan, Sinaloa is the Mexican Capital of Drug Laboratories

Translated by: Yaqui for BorderlandBeat
From Riodoce by: Alejandro Monjardín, September 25, 2016

Sophisticated Drug Factories

Culiacan is the clandestine methamphetamine factory of the country. Data provided by the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) indicates that the state capital is the city where the largest number of drug laboratories are concentrated.

From 2005 to May 2016, 261 clandestine laboratories were located. That quantity represents 20 percent of the 1,314 thousand found throughout the rest of the country.

The second highest number of laboratories, 91, were found is Apatzingan; followed by Buena Vista Tomatlan, with 66, both in the state of Michoacan.

Cartels have installed laboratories in 21 states, but most of them are located on the Pacific Coast.
Sinaloa, Michoacan and Jalisco account for 1,103 laboratories found in a decade, which represents 83 percent of of those decommissioned nationwide.

In Sinaloa crystal methamphetamine production is concentrated in the downtown area of the capitol city.

In addition to Culiacan, municipalities with more laboratories are Badiraguato with 32, Mocorito with 26, Cosalá with 22, and Elota with 21.

In 10 years security forces of the Secretary of National Defense in the state have found 380 laboratories.

In the same period across the country they seized 22,932 kilos and 633 grams of crystal, 5,967 kilos were found in Sinaloa.

The quantity of drugs seized, in the state of Sinaloa is only surpassed by Michoacan, where they secured 7,083 kilos of methamphetamine.

According to information from the Department of Defense, SEDENA, Sinaloa is where the drug cartels have innovated strategies to avoid detection by the authorities.

Placing them in remote and mountainous areas covered with camouflage, they have also been found underground.

The first underground drug laboratories in the country were found in Culiacan and Elote, Sinaloa.
The very first was in 2011 in the area of Sanalona and had two levels, with an elevator and ventilation. The laboratory structure was made of metal and wood, had a dimension of approximately 10 meters wide by 12 meters long and 10 meters deep.

The same year another laboratory was located beneath the earth in the municipality of Elota, which was more sophisticated. The facility had walls, a ceiling with a concrete floor, a control system with lighting and ducts for ventilation. It was four meters deep and measured four meters wide by 100 meters long.

Additionally, in Sinaloa,  SEDENA found the first laboratory with a cold room.

The drug factory was located in Cosalá and had a cold room built on a hill to maintain the proper temperatures for the chemical substances and make crystal meth of better quality. The refrigeration system was powered by a generator which was built with an engine from a tractor trailer.

Laboratories Under Protection

The commander of the Ninth Military Zone, Rogelio Teran Contreras, says that the Sinaloa Cartel controls most of the production of methamphetamines in the country and its laboratories located in Sinaloa are in an area that they dominate and have a network of halcones or lookouts that protect them .

Synthetic drugs factories in Culiacan are in an area where they can easily get warnings.

"It is the area itself, these surrounding areas, for the security of the facilities which they have to hide; here it has been observed that the entire area is under the control of the Pacific Cartel ", Contreras says. "Last year," he added, "the Ninth Military Zone had 80 laboratories and as a Military Region we were above 100 labs and now we have 54 more".

He said methamphetamine production began in the south of the country in states like Michoacan and Guanajuato, but currently is focused in Sinaloa.

The Cartels, he detailed, not only export drugs outside the country, but also send people prepared to manufacture drugs to other countries.

"They have also exported people, Sinaloans are producing methamphetamines in some places in Africa, and I believe there are Sinaloans in other places in the world", he said.

Teran Contreras said the cartel installs most of its laboratories in the state of Sinaloa because here they have a wide network of hawks.

He said that criminal groups have managed to maintain and grow that network due to the fact that for public security institutions it is difficult to detect the lookouts.

"They are everywhere, it can be a pizza delivery person, the newspaper seller on the corner outside here or the taxi driver or the young man who sells shrimp in the corner, the Cartels have great economic power to pay them, so there are hundreds of lookouts everywhere.

"I do not know how much they are paid but they must get something out of it because they do not allow us to get anywhere near the organizations, from where we leave we are already being followed and sometimes they do not release us, they do it so brazenly that the new penal system favors them and now all of the world has fallen into this brazenness", he said.

The Brigadier General said that soon the army will step up efforts to combat drug laboratories in the state.

"Right now our troops are in training in Durango, when they come back and with the troops that we already have here, we will continue attacking laboratories and as we deploy more troops we are going to find more," he said.

Sinaloans Around the World

The Sinaloa Cartel do not only exports methamphetamine, but also experienced men in the manufacturing process.

Cooks, as they are known, these men are sent to other countries where the Sinaloa Cartel produces synthetic drugs.

Last March, in Nigeria, four Sinaloans were arrested that helped build a "superlab" to export crystal to Asia.

According to the National Drug Enforcement Agency in that country, Mexicans were technical partners in the laboratory that had the capacity to produce up to four tons of methamphetamine per week.

In Nigeria, a kilo of the drug is priced at $6,000 and in the Asian market the price of a kilo reaches up to $300,000.

According to the Agency, it is the first laboratory with capacity to produce industrial quantities of drugs that has been found in West Africa.

The detainees are José Bruno Cervantes Madrid, Pastiano Rivas Cruz, Cristobal Castillo Barrazas and Pedro Barraza Gonzalez Partida.

Just as in Africa there are Sinaloans cooks in Asia as well.

In the Philippines, since 2013, the presence of the Sinaloa Cartel was detected with the seizure of 84 kilos of methamphetamine and the arrest of two Chinese nationals on a ranch.  That operation led to the arrest of Horacio Herrera in June 2015; and in the same month a judge issued an arrest warrant against Carlos Ochoa and Jaime Sanchez, all from Sinaloa.

Philippine authorities accused them of entering the country with crystal meth valued over 143 million pesos. (7,384,801 USD)

Horacio Herrera allegedly came to the Asiatic country to open a restaurant in Manila, but prosecutors said he and the other two Sinaloans were responsible for establishing the production and distribution of drugs for the Sinaloa Cartel in the country.

The best known case of a Sinaloa detained in another country, is that of the brothers Jose Regino, Simon and Luis Gonzalez Villarreal.

The Sinaloans from Culiacan were arrested in 2013 in a laboratory in Malaysia.

All three are imprisoned and sentenced to hang.


  1. Off subject but interesting fact which relates to Mexico's corruption and "occasional" incompetence. Back in 1971 Joel David Kaplan was rescued from a Mexican prison with a helicopter that had the bottom painted in similar colors as those used by Mexico's attorney general. A few years later a movie was made inspired by that event.

    1. First comment posted and its an "off topic" comment ... No mames

    2. What's the name of that movie?

    3. 4:02 drug trafficking and money laundering, escaping from prison, the CIA involvement, will never be "off topic", hon.
      Many of our baby BB commenters don't know shit about their grampas. I had to wiki kaplan, for one minute...
      Google a foto of el Gitano Valdez, gramps of la barbie.

    4. 11:11 the name of the movie is Breakout with Charles Bronson, from 1975.

  2. Michoacan still has the most laboratories though. That's where it started

    1. Yes thats were it started but once Sinaloa get involved they take it global thats why Sinaloa has always been number 1

    2. Did you read the article? Michoacan comes in 2nd. The only reason the government hasn't found more in sinaloa is because they're hid underground.

    3. The first ever labs were found in sinaloa dumb dumb

    4. Actually those labs first started on the west coast Cali Oregon and Washington before all the old dealers around there were deported and took their trade with them

    5. 5:39-Is that something cool and to be proud of?How old are you?

    6. 11:11 I'm just stating facts what does my age have to do with my statement. 1. I am not proud of that fact 2. I'm not even from michoacan

    7. 1:56; Your facts are BS and even Coronel's production started in Jalisco, Nayarit and then N Sinaloa. Its was the people of Nacho that started began heavy production in Michoacán after he was killed but precursors still arrive Lazaro Cardenas and super labs in Sierra and ranches outside Culiacan. That's one big reason 701 y Alfredito are at war as well as the air landings around Badiraguato

    8. Discovered in germany, in the 1800's and mass produced and fed to the soldiers by germany, japan, the US, and allies, meth was manufactured all over the world, until it was made illegal and driven underground for all the profits, blame the world's big pharma, not michoacan, sinaloa, or jalisco, the fall guys,

  3. Damn michoacan is even second to Sinaloa at this.

    1. Culiacan is where more laboratories have been found per city, not state. Michoacan is still where they have more laboratories but just spread in different cities. That's why it's where they have confiscated the most meth.

    2. Second in laboratorys found michoacan still produces way more windows than sinaloa numbers dont lie

    3. 11:46 that's because no one can find sinaloan labs unlike michoacan who are dumbasses at hiding their shit

    4. Like I told a lady today at my fruit stand that bought a 20 lb. case of tomatoes that they were Mexican not Canadian and I added that there's 3 things that Sinaloa grows well:tomatoes,herion poppies and marijuana and that she bought 1 of the 3.O she laughed at that.Then when I looked closer at the labeling on another case of tomatoes 'Los Pinos' it said San Quintin which is Baja outdoor greenhouses.

    5. Canadiana, do you sell melons too? Interesting.

    6. You are unaware of the hideous working conditions and the contentious strike those poor farmworkers have had on/ off for nearly two years? They have gained a little, not much, many have been jailed, some killed and now the peso is 20. They are virtually slave labor, men, children, old folks.
      BOYCOTT Driscolls and Los Pinos ! Viva La Huelga .........its like the Grapes of Wrath in that whole Big Ag area of San Quintin. Think Cesar Chavez. Not to mention what else is growing in all those greenhouses and the pesticide exposure. More and more " Plantios " being busted in the Municipios of Ensenada/ San Quintin area, all of Northern Baja.
      The town of Vizcaino in BCS was virtually nonexixtent 10 yrs ago, now huge industrial ag production, same conditions and a hot bed of Narco activity.
      I have dropped plenty of pesos in their collection cans, women cooking huge vats of beans on the street corners to hand out to the hungry, music and horns blaring.......Viva La Huelga !

  4. Puro parral y pura gente nueva alv los marranos,, aqui sigue el cepillo 00 acabando con lacras y animo viejones que de guadalupe hast badiraguato queda corto el camino

    1. Puro Triangulo De Oro pariente !!!
      Chihuas esta con Culiacan!!

    2. La Linea sigue controlando la mayor parte de Chihuahua.

      Desde Cuauhtémoc.

  5. Culiacan is the capital of Mejico, period.

  6. Aqui andamos en el laboratorio cercas de la tuna compas al estilo pablo escobar

  7. CDS should know you get caught making drugs and trafficking drugs in places like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, your dead.

    1. Philippines also...

    2. Death is inevitable, weather you die at 25 from gunshots or at 90 from old age. These people are poor and enticed by large sums of money that they use to support there family. If they can make 50k for there wife and kids but die at a young age, that's the consequence they would prefer to live with. Rather than die from old age poor and hungry....

    3. Michael miller you've obviously never been 3rd world country poor.

    4. Why don't make cooking and distributing meth a death penalty in Mexico?

    5. 10:17 thet is net the idea, people is allowed to "work" ease when they accumulate their Centabos, after paying and paying their kickbacks and getting all their tits milked, the narcos get arrested and everybody makes more and more money out of their deals...

    6. What you all think of this guy Rodrigo Duterte? Of Phillipines. I think thats his name. This guy is ferocious. Un tigre.

  8. Le duela a quien le duela y digan lo que digan La Cafetera sigue al 100 compitas

    1. Y al que le duela que me cante un tiro aqui pura cafetera san diego reportando

  9. If you ever encounter a narco lab you'll know right away. For the air becomes rancid and repugnant. - El Sol Perdido

    1. Rancid? Repugnant? Sounds like my room.

    2. Or el sol farted...

  10. When I read sophisticated Drug Factories I picture laboratories with stainless steel counters and glass beakers. Not dirt and old dirty plastic jugs. Makes me wonder how things were done before this "sophistication" :/

  11. Donde ay un laboratorio ay esta el chemico michoacano ya tienen mas de 30 anos en eso . Aya las cocinadas son de 1000 kilos pa riba ..saben quien son su padres

  12. Con la pólvora en la sangre,
    mucha agilidad en las manos,
    lo que soy no lo demuestro,
    muchos ya se han atorado,
    no muy alto no muy bajo,
    100% michoacano,

    empece de cocinero,
    no quise estar encerrado,
    monte mi laboratorio,
    solo se me fue aclientando,
    nunca me gusto ser pobre,
    por eso entre al contrabando,

    la sociedad me señala según,
    soy mala persona,
    el gobierno me persigue,
    por que trafico la droga,
    pero mi gente le pide,
    ha dios que me de su sombra.

    carros blindados me gustan,
    pa salir ha trabajar,
    un caballo pura sangre,
    para salir ha pasear,
    los alegres del barranco,
    que me vengan ha tocar,

    un trago para brindar,
    rodeado de mis amigos,
    90 en seguridad,
    aunque no tengo enemigos,
    la envidia siempre anda suelta,
    por eso siempre me cuido,

    armas de grueso calibre,
    siempre me gusta portar,
    el poder te da dinero,
    ami me lo da el cristal,
    soy amigo respetuoso,
    y nacido en michoacan,

  13. Jajaja No mamen!!! Estos weyes tienen una lona de BP!! Tantas pinches lonas que venden en el tianguis! Donde ganseaban esa chingadera? Lo bueno es que no pusieron una de Pemex!!

    1. 10:18 la de pemex te la vas a hacer solo, la patria no tiene pá lonas pemex, after paying the congressmen and senators trillions of pesos for their votes to privatize it...

  14. Sentenced to hang? When?

  15. To be honest I would've thought it was Michoacan but you learn new shit on here everyday lol

  16. Culiacan is home to cds beltranes and Juarez but cds is cooking most there

  17. #701 .dominando la cocaina ,el Ice ,la mary jane,heroina ,y los tacos

  18. Looks like this city suffer the whole country. Mexico famous for drugs dealer and they must change their image it world with take some strong action against drugs dealer!!

  19. Soldiers and EMTs ambushed and blown up heading into Culiacan from Badriguato:
    4:00 AM ........

  20. Soldier dead in shooting in Guanajuato

  21. Balacera en comonfort Guanajuato in soldado Muerto i dos sicarios heridos


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;