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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Heart of Mexico City, Suffocated by Drug Dealing

"BaptisteGrandGrand" for Borderland Beat

Mexico City authorities say that between December 2018 and February 2021, they have identified over 12,188 drug sale spots in 16 boroughs in the metropolitan area.

A few steps away from the residence of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the offices of the Federal Attorney General's Office (FGR), the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), the Federal Judiciary (PJF), the Senate of the Republic, as well as security and justice institutions in Mexico City, drugs are being sold.

In the morning, afternoon, evening, night or early morning, the drug dealing points never rest. In streets, bars, neighborhoods, corners, parks, markets and anywhere, criminal organizations, through dealers, have built a sales structure that reaches more than 12 thousand points. All this has been possible in just two years of since Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo took office.

A report by the Mexico City Attorney General's Office (FGJCDMX), consulted by La Silla Rota, shows that between December 10, 2018 and February 10, 2021, investigators identified 12,188 areas of drug dealing in the 16 municipalities across the Greater Mexico City area.

Retail drug sales (narcomenudeo) have grown more than 389.49% in the last two decades. In 2006, the then Secretary of Public Security of Mexico City, Joel Ortega Cuevas, mentioned that between January and August 2005, 2,490 drug dealing points were detected, based on complaints received by the police.

The problem is serious and delicate, and even more so when there is no recent survey on drug consumption that would allow to know whether addictions by illicit substances have increased or decreased among the inhabitants of Mexico City. The last one was made in 2017.

Moreover, in the capital and throughout the country, there is no clear policy to address consumption and shut down the (illicit) market that cartels and drug dealers are clear on how to exploit.

This is the first part of two texts that will address drug dealing business in Mexico City, starting with the Historic Center (Centro Historico), the so-called "heart" of Mexico City, formerly Tenochtitlan, which is now controlled by drug traffickers.

Police arrive at a scene to investigate drug dealing activity

Tenochtitlán: the conquest of the dealers

For any inhabitant of Mexico City it is an open secret where the drug dealing points are located. At some point in time, in every home in the capital of the country, the subject has been part of the conversations due to the risky situations they have experienced or heard about from neighbors, friends, relatives or through the media.

However, for the authorities it seems that this is a taboo subject that is off the political and security agenda, a problem that few officials have dared to address.

The ignorance, neglect and complicity of the authorities has led criminal organizations to establish a network of drug sales under the very noses of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador; the Head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum; as well as the ministers that make up the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.

The records of the FGJCDMX's Crime Statistics Information System reveal that, in the last two years, nine drug sales points were identified in the streets surrounding the National Palace, the City Hall, as well as the SCJN facilities, buildings located within a perimeter of less than one kilometer away in the Cuauhtémoc district.

The places detected by the FGJCDMX, between January 2019 and December 2020, are located in the streets of Moneda (one), Corregidora (two), Plaza de la Constitución (two), Correo Mayor (one), Avenida 20 de Noviembre (one) and Avenida Pino Suarez, at the intersection with Corregidora (one).

According to data from the Mexico City Attorney General's Office, in the Centro neighborhood alone there are 367 places where drugs are retailed, mainly in neighborhoods, street stalls, as well as established businesses.

Drugs seized by the Mexico City police

Most drug sales in the Historic Center take place in the streets of: Vidal Alcocer, Lecumberri, Manuel Doblado, Callejón de Mixcalco, Circunvalación, Del Carmen, Eje 1 Norte, Eje Central Lázaro Cárdenas, República de Argentina, Brasil, Chile and Bolivia.

The tentacles of organized crime cover streets and avenues throughout the first part of the capital, roads that connect the entire city. One of them is the Morelos neighborhood, where multiple operations against organized crime have been carried out but have not yielded results in putting an end to the drug sales.

In this area, where the so-called "Barrio Bravo" of Tepito is located. Authorities have boasted of historic drug seizures, as well as the seizure of alleged organized crime leaders. The deployment of elements supposedly put an end to the sale of narcotics in these places, such as "La Fortaleza", a housing unit located on Avenida del Trabajo and Rivero Street. Another of the places, which no longer exist for the authorities, is the so-called "Ciudad Botica".

However, according to records accessed by La Silla Rota, these two places continue to be supply points where anyone can go to buy narcotics.

The Mexico City Attorney General's Office has identified, just in the first two years of this administration, 140 points of sale in the Morelos neighborhood. The records of the institution indicate that this is the area with the highest number of points of sale in the entire city.

According to FGJCDM data, the main outlets in Morelos are located in: Bartolomé de las Casas, Jesús Carranza, Estanquillo, Libertad, Peralvillo, Tenochtitlán, Matamoros, Toltecas, Eje 1 Norte, Ignacio López Rayón, Avenida Paseo de la Reforma, Aztecas, Comonfort and Estanquillo.

Drug sale spots in the Cuauhtemoc district of Mexico City

Drug dealers stifle Cuauhtémoc

There is not a neighborhood where dealers are not present. Drug dealers have taken advantage of the vacuum of authority that exists in the Cuauhtémoc district to the point of making it the district with the second highest number of drug sales points of the 16 boroughs that make up Mexico City. Cuauhtemoc is just behind Iztapalapa.

Organized crime is present in both "high value" and "low value" areas. That is, even in ghettos or in the vicinity of government institutions.

Experts in public safety issues consider that drug dealing is present in the city center, as well as in all its municipalities, due to the fact that historically the problem has not been addressed. In addition, the points of sale confirm that there is a market that the organizations have taken advantage of over the years, thanks to the complicity of the authorities themselves and the fact that they have avoided addressing the issue.

"I am not surprised by the number of drug sale points, considering that Mexico City is home to millions of inhabitants. Another point we must take into account is the purchasing power of the people of Mexico City. Taking this as a reference, it is true that there is an increase in drug use among young people"

– Gerardo Rodríguez Luna, academic coordinator of the Center for Studies on Impunity and Justice at the University of the Americas Puebla (UDLAP).

Mexico City is one of the most populated cities in the world. The type of activities that take place in the different municipalities help explore the consumer market. This has led to proliferation, as well as to sales networks around government institutions. The downtown area has spaces controlled by organized crime or street vendors.

"It is clear that neighborhoods are one of the main places under their power. In the center of the city, there have always been power vacuums, which are taken advantage of by organized crime."

– Armando Rodriguez Luna, national security expert and Project Director of the Security and Intelligence Division of Strategic Affairs.

"The data proves that there are criminal organizations in Mexico City coming from cartels. These groups have a structure, a well-built distribution line. In addition, there is the issue of the State of Mexico, the consumption in municipalities in the suburbs, mainly to the east of the capital. Another point is the Querétaro corridor."

– Security expert Gerardo Rodríguez.

Some analysts have pointed out that the power vacuum in the Historic Center is exploited for the creation or coexistence between criminal groups and the State, such as police or government officials, who co-govern with the cartels.

According to data from the Mexico City Attorney General's Office, in the Cuauhtémoc district alone, there is a map of 2,298 drug sales points located in 33 neighborhoods. Records indicate that the greatest proliferation of sales is located in the neighborhoods Morelos (1,40), Centro (367), Guerrero (171), Doctores (143), Buenavista (96), Roma Norte (49), Peralvillo (45), Juárez (42), as well as in Santa María la Rivera (40).

These drug points are everywhere, including in the vicinity of the FGJCDM itself, the Senate, the Secretariat of Citizen Security or the Attorney General's Office or the Senate. An example of this is Liverpool, Puebla, Hamburgo, and Amberes streets, streets that are located a few blocks from where the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, as well as the Secretary of Security of the capital of Mexico City, Omar García Harfuch, work.

In a second installment, La Silla Rota will present the context of organized crime in the remaining 15 municipalities of Mexico City and will open the database obtained, via transparency, so that readers can learn about the problem of drug dealing in the areas where they live.

Sources: La Silla Rota


  1. Legalization wouldn't change a thing. Regulations would never be enforced, competition would probably intensify, violence would persist..

    1. just like with alcohol right?

      oh wait

    2. @5:02 enough said.
      6:56 must be a Holy LEO

  2. For many centuries the people who live in Mexico have conducted tianguis and regional/local markets. They are expert at it.

    1. Blame the Mexico City Police, also Estado de Mexico police, they come and go with their hermandad untouched by the gandallas who are jealous and want to steal their Birthright Business of sticking it to anybody, intelligence specialist without any intelligence on his brain Omar Hamid Garcia Harfuch is exposing crime in the City to brag about his achievement of bringing it down and getting a big promotion after AMLO is out, maybe first civilian secretary of defense or who knows? maybe even presidente for life...
      This discovery is about a lot of bullshit, the metropolitan police is full of corrupt cuicos since Cortes paraded the corpse of Moctezuma to calm down the rebelling Aztecs, Televisa has left a school full of talent for Bullshit too, Harfuch is alumni.

  3. What's for sale at what price? Asking for a friend

    1. Anything and everything $1 peso to $400 pesos.

  4. 20 push ups, every 30 minutes, 8 hours a day will mitigate drug cravings :-/ Mando to put in the discipline and physical exertion for optimal life and positive habitual construction -- that will seep into other areas in your life.

    1. 9:25 imprisonment first until the cravings lessen, nobody recovers outside in freedom, at least your pusher thinks so, and suspect you are buying from the competition and make you into a pinche pozole or carniasada ro make it up to him for his loses.

  5. I will be leading an elite "paisa unit" specially trained by Israel's ULTRA secret Unit 269 to rid the infestation of lacras, guevonasos, and kakinos that prowl the city. Before the assault we will read Jane Austen novels to ease our nerves.

    El Pesado

  6. Killing drug deals on sight like in the Philippines would work

    1. It's not like Mexico cares about what Human rights organizations or activists think or say when it pertains to the handling of its citizens.
      Just look at their record of killings by its municipal & military service men. Should answer any question of such proposal.

    2. Duterte pa Mexico 2024

  7. How tweakers does Mexico have
    is there a place to ck the stats on the addicted in Mexico
    i was thinking less then then USA only because everyone keeps saying how poor everyone there is

    Why would ya want to destory your own ? and pull your country in ruins

  8. Drug pushers are few blocks from The White House.

    1. 12:21 forgetabout them, not one been of them tried to steal the US Congress to steal the US presidency...

  9. Amlo says Cartels r not important

    1. 12:44 not important to him, but they matter to each other if they want to live, it is the inheritance left by the PRI, PAN PRD, PEVM, PES, MC allied ass fluffers of the past 100 years of politica ranchera

  10. Pino Suarez and Corregidora is basically National Palace where el KKs lives! PRI and PAN were shit, but this goverment is a shit storm. PS Chairos refrain from replying, AMLO is a crook just as all the others or maybe even worse, dont be delusional.

  11. But somehow all this drug violence nonsense is because of U.S. demand? Oh ok.

  12. Damn, they really need to make a new series of “The Wire”: “The Wire 2: Mexico City”. Bring back Omar though


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