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

Saturday, July 18, 2020

AMLO Announces the Militarization of Ports and Customs to Stop Smuggling and Drug Trafficking

Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: El Pais / aoa
             Mexican President Lopez Obrador's Friday July 17, 2020 Press Conference in Colima

AMLO has added this Friday a new task to the Armed Forces. The President of Mexico has announced that the Army and Navy will assume control and surveillance of ports and maritime and land customs to combat corruption, smuggling and drug trafficking. "We are going to clean the ports and customs in the country," said the president. 

The measure has been announced in Colima, one of the most violent states in Mexico, and after several months in which the Government has detected an increase in the traffic from Asia of elements for the manufacture of fentanyl. This synthetic opiate is then shipped to the United States, a country that has suffered from a severe epidemic related to this drug.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Manzanillo, the main commercial port of the Mexican Pacific , as part of the tour he has made this week in the most insecure regions of the country.

The president's message is also given a few hours after the arrival of Emilio Lozoya , extradited from Spain for crimes committed during his tenure at Petróleos Mexicanos, who has raised high expectations for a collaboration agreement that he has agreed with the Mexican Prosecutor's Office and which promises reveal various acts of corruption during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).

The presence of the Navy and the Army extends to customs and ports, in the absence of an official notification, where the commercial and security component are combined.

"This explains why the attacks, the murders, the violence in Colima," stressed López Obrador.

Intensifying the military combat of maritime smuggling and drug trafficking is an issue that has been forged for months on the government's agenda. 
"The route of entry for the fentanyl going to the US is basically Lázaro Cárdenas [Michoacán] and in Manzanillo," said Santiago Nieto, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Finance, in an interview with this newspaper in May. "We have to see that fentanyl imports reach pharmaceutical companies because they are going through customs and then they send them to the cartels," added Nieto, about the increase in the legal and illegal use of fentanyl in that country, used by doctors. to anesthetize patients and more and more users as a hard drug.

Horacio Duarte, customs officer and one of the men close to the president, said that his office will maintain fiscal tasks at sea and land crossings, which represented revenues to the country of more than $30,000 million dollars in 2018. 

López Obrador has said that several directors from the country's 49 customs offices and facilities have been removed from their posts and have detailed that six are under investigation. It remains to be seen whether the strategy of militarizing the commercial sentry boxes will pay off, a plan that so far has not slowed the wave of violence in Mexico, after registering almost 35,000 murders last year., the highest number since registrations began in 1997. 

"From the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico we endorse our commitment to guarantee the safety, protection of the seas and control of Mexican ports," said the Secretary of the Navy, Rafael Ojeda.

The inclusion of the military in customs control is not new in Mexico, where it has been common for seafarers to fall into administrative positions. In 2009, for example, then-President Felipe Calderón purged more than 1,400 customs agents accused of corruption and the military dedicated themselves to supervising the transition and surveillance, while the replacements arrived. 

The crusade against corruption, however, is a new wink that deepens the country's militarization, a process that has advanced during the López Obrador government. After canceling the new Texcoco air terminal, one of Peña Nieto's star projects at the beginning of his Administration, the President entrusted the construction of the Santa Lucía airport, a former military base, to the Army.

In addition, the Executive ordered last year the creation of the National Guard, a new military corporation, which has assumed the bulk of public security tasks in the face of the crisis of violence that has been going through the country for more than a decade. National Guard assignments range from safeguarding hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic to containing irregular immigration from Central America.

After the suspicion of corruption in the works of the Texcoco airport, the Army has had a greater presence in public life and has advanced as an economic agent in charge of the construction of the works and flagship programs of this Government, such as Saint Lucia and the Sembrando Vida reforestation program.
Most shipments of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, and precursor chemicals used to make it, are believed to come from Asia through Pacific coast ports like Manzanillo or Lazaro Cardenas, to the south. Cartels use the same route to import chemicals used to make methamphetamines, often on an industrial scale.
In 2010, the Tax Administration Service, which was previously in charge of customs, seized a then-record 200 metric tons of meth precursors at the Manzanillo port.

It would not be the first time the Mexican government has turned to the armed forces to try to solve the thorny problem of corruption and cartel domination at seaports.

In 2013, the government put the Navy in charge of the Lazaro Cardenas seaport of the neighboring state of Michoacan after the Knights Templar drug cartel reached such astonishing levels of control that it was found to be operating bulk freight yards and participating in the iron ore trade at the port.

Mexico has also had a decades-long history of struggling with corrupt customs inspectors. In 1991, Mexico fired nearly all 3,000 of its customs inspectors without warning, replacing them with younger, better-educated personnel in an effort to combat corruption and improve efficiency.

It was unclear whether the tax administration service would remain in charge of customs services at airports. But in any case, many of the inspections at airports and land border crossings — where most illicit weapons are smuggled — are already carried out by the military.

According to official data, the Navy and the Army have the approval of eight out of ten Mexicans, and the creation of the National Guard has been well received by the state governments, which are often outnumbered in the fight against organized crime. But academics and civil organizations criticize the opacity of the Armed Forces in public tenders and warn of human rights violations and due process when the military take to the streets to deal with security tasks.


  1. It's gotta be bs. All the ports in Mexico are completely under the control of their designated cartel. This is asking for trouble. Didn't the head of police for Mexico City get shot up last week?

    1. So nothing is suppose to be done...oh stop it.

    2. Totally agree here Tamps. Cartels Own all ports. Especially bridges in Matamoros

    3. In the article it clearly says they're only doing this on Colima.

    4. The Bullshit is in that the military, navy or marinelas hace been corrupt ass kissers of the corrupt governments in the past and are such apt criminals in cahoots with the cartels, now encroached in doing the police work at any levels, the retired military that go into the National Guard are just trying to make it up to themselves and trying to get rich by any means necessary and ASAP, specially the higher ups...
      at any rate, you need to plant and infiltrate your own internal affairs officers in order to purge the bad like Omar Hamid Garcia Harfuch, hated by federal and state police and by the army that betrayed them on many instances:
      Sanchez Taboada, Veracruz, In Jalisco, Michoacán, guerrero, guanajuato, in México City when the mexican army consumnated their treason against Presidente Francusco I Madero, lateral against carranza, zapata and Villa, Also murdered general Felipe Ángeles and general goroztieta...
      The mexican armed forces are still full of greedy and hungry profiteering sell-outs.

    5. @5:40. The announcement was given in Colima but the action will be taking place nation wide. So just to make it clear, the mexican military will now secure both land and maritime points of entry all over Mexico... Good job AMLO. Keep it up.

    6. well duh they ports are under control of cartels, thats the reason why they are sending the military. If cartels did not control the ports and the ports ran smooth then obiously the military wouldnt be involved.

    7. @4:28 I think it is a question of who is being favoured.

      By looking at which ports are being targeted by this move and which cartel holds these ports, we will know which cartel AMLO does not favour.

      I guess the no CDS held port will be touched.

    8. Pinchis ilusos creen que todo el gran contrabando lo pasan puros contrabandistas por las aduanas o puertos...
      --Las hormiguitas siempre hacen su parte por un lado y por otro sin aprobación oficial pero con permiso extra-oficial.

  2. This is AMLO's privatization of all the ports. He is totally bought and paid for. Guess I can't talk shit talking bad about Mexico when the states is way worse off.

    1. The States "is" (are) way worse off, you say? Point your ass south and start walking then. The ungrateful sot you are.

  3. AMLO has no authority over anything the cartels control; he might has well have announced his closure of Port Darwin in Australia.

  4. They ARE going after CJNG, CJNG has lazaro cardenas and COLIMA port.
    AMLO will NOT dare touch SINALOA port BECAUSE he will lose his friendship with CHAPITOS and Doña consuelo wich he VISITS, write letters to and CALLS frequently..

  5. "The President of Mexico has announced that the Army and Navy will assume control and surveillance of ports and maritime and land customs to combat corruption, smuggling and drug trafficking. "


  6. CJNG flexing muscle with a video and the next day AMLO to militarized ports and border crossing..sounds like a punch to the throat...

  7. Sorry But I stopped reading when they said ONLY 30 million in drugs
    Right there its wrong
    more like 3000 million
    so this is BS not the artical ! thanks for bringing the story
    but the President he is so full of $#@!
    i will believe him when it starts working PS Cartels are not going to give up this easy
    Just one more big fat lie

  8. 1st of all. Mexico does not have a military whereas they can contain a confrontation. Why? Because long ago after the Mexican American war there were certain restrictions placed on Mexico as to not be able to grow a military or even produce guns. Now. Ingest that and connect a dot.

    1. @8:51 You sir, know your shit. USA always tried to control all of Latin America monopoly board style. Restrictions like that make it evident.

    2. Oh Yes History
      I grew up reading it
      Japan also could not go against us But the loop holes in laws and greed and pure b.s.
      They could be allowed to protect them selves from forigion envaders etc Not allowed to attack USA
      Much has changed
      we also signed we would not attack Mexico So What do we do now ? We cant do shit .
      This is why my friends we cant send tomahawks screaming across mexico skys bombing out meth labs and cartel hidding in holes or under rocks where they belong
      But times are changing
      If the wrath of God would hurry up and take out all the evil Then we can rewrite history

      Until then The Good People of Mexico Needs to demand the stop to All officals raping them
      The greedy freaking whores that take and take from what belongs to the PEOPLE of Mexico

      As long as they keep running away and coming here instead of fighting back Ive loose all respect for Mexico
      You lay in the bed you make
      Change it! There is some Good soild Mexican people that can bring change STAND UP
      If ya need help to better yourselves and your children do it Stop Running away
      You have a beautiful rich country Keep it

  9. Fact is today, garita 2, Tijuana, the main entry, had Humvees and soldiers.

    Lazaro has a Navy Base and a battalion of Marines, plus genuine armored vehicles.

    Yeah I'd love to see CJNG punks try to take on the Marines. The 1010 grade steel in those supposedly armored vehicles would not hardly slow down a .50 cal AP round. Never mind a TOW missile. The harbor at Lazaro is rather remote. Bait the trap and wait. The marines would empty the drums into the out flowing Rio Balsas. I know that port and yard. One four lane divided entrance and yard haul trucks lined up to load containers. Another area to load iron ore from La Mira tierra colorado. Most of the varilla reber from the Mital Steel Mill is hauled away by truck and tanker unloading for the huge CFE plant across the river is done with dedicated tankers sailing from the refinacion at Salina Cruz.
    Attack this port?
    No te jale mi pelo

  10. Video starts at 17:30

  11. Dudas

    1. why hasn't this been done before?
    2. what if it doesn't work?
    3. what if it does?

  12. holy crap, I wonder if something was adressed to him on his visit to the US for him to make a move that clearly goes against his intentions of reducing the use of the military. Or did he finally realized that he cant fight corruption and crime in certain areas without the military's help.

    I wonder if he initially opposed sending the military, maybe not, he did promised to end the war and to take the military out of the streets asap yet the military is still out and he even created a new militarized police.
    Im not criticizing him for doing the opposite, its actually a good thing since he does seem to want to make a good change but its cearly shows you how easy it is for canditates to vow to do many things yet once in office they realize its its not easy to do as they say,they see they have limits they dont always have the last word

    1. You know I thought the same, USA maybe have been involved in this decision.

  13. Basically they are declaring war to cjng

  14. It's funny, but over the läst 30 years the WoD has gradually escalated and at the same time supply volume has gone up, the prices of illicit prices have gone down and the variety of drugs has increased.

    There are two possible conclusions:
    1. Increased Militarization LEADS TO an increase in the supply of drugs
    2. Increased Militarization DOES NOT HELP PREVENT the supply of drugs

  15. Hahaha another broken promise from the President lets face it. Should've sent all the power when they caught chapos son

    1. 4:40 AL Chapo Son,
      se la pelas güey...

  16. nothing will change.

  17. What he's trying to say is that they will clear a cartel out the way to make room for another cartel

  18. This is good and cartels right now must be like "Fuck" but the problem is con dinero el perro baila. and i think the military incharge of ports will be bought

  19. He’s only clearing the path for someone else to take over. Maybe it was put out to bid and there is a new winner?

  20. Does cjng own Manzanillo and Veracruz ports?

  21. Those bastard Chinese are sending fent to further destabilize the region and to keep it destabilized, nothing moves in China without the consent of the Communist party. It's a sanctioned operation that is receiving approval and support from people at the very top

    1. @1:44 Mhm but uh, the fent is sold in USA, not in Mex.

  22. At this point, do the drugs really matter all that much? These guys are pretty diversified. Plus, if they suffer loss of income, they will just squeeze the local populace even harder. Kind of surprised he has never reached an agreement wherein he promises to leave them alone in drug trafficking, if they leave the population alone.


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