Feb 29, 2012

Drug War: In Mexico, a Dramatic Decline in Seizures of Cocaine and Heroine

La Jornada-  At the same time that Mexico has become the potential producer of 9 percent of all heroin trafficked in the world and become renowned for the ease of setting up methamphetamine laboratories, it has experienced the largest drop of cocaine seizures of all countries in a study by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The annual report also revealed that heroin seizures had fallen off by 30 percent.

The report was distributed yesterday by the Secretary of Foreign Relations. It claimed that despite the deployment of a high number of military and police forces over the past 5 years, 90 percent of the cocaine that arrives in the United States passes through Mexico.

The study states that the three main producers of heroin used in the United States in 2009 are Afghanistan, Colombia, and Mexico. According to the Department of Drug Enforcement in Colombia, 58 percent of the heroin seized in the United States came from Colombia while 39 percent originated in Mexico. The seizures of this drug have diminished from around 459 kilograms in 2005 to 369 kilograms in 2010.

Regional Analysis

The regional analysis section mentions that in 2010 Canada, the United States, and Mexico continue to show elevated levels of production, trafficking, and consumption of illicit drugs.

“The fact that, globally speaking, 70 percent of marijuana seizures, 70 percent of MDMA seizures (ecstasy), and 44 percent of methamphetamines seizures happened in North America illustrates the magnitude of the problem. Furthermore, 99 percent of the world’s dismantled methamphetamine laboratories were found in region.”

The human, social and economic cost of the improper use of drugs in North America has been heightened. In 2007 the estimated economic impact of the use of illicit drugs in the United States was $193 billion. For their part, the Canadian Center for Substance Abuse has calculated that the costs for the Canadian economy due to illicit drug use surpasses $9 billion per year. “In Mexico, the government has budgeted $10.7 billion for the army in 2012,” remarks the report.

Central America and the Caribbean, “for their strategic geographical location,” continue to be important areas in trafficking drugs from South to North America. “A few Mexican drug cartels have moved their operations to Central America, which has consequently bore witness to an increase in violence, kidnappings, bribery, torture, and homicides.”

The study also reports that “Guatemala has been utilized as a transit route for cocaine headed to Mexico, and despite the efforts by Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua in 2010 to combat drug trafficking, for the first time, these countries have became important areas of transit for drugs destined, principally, for the United States. At the same time, the Caribbean has become less important as an area for drug shipment north.” Spanish original 

Translation by Mikael Rojas, Americas Mexico Blog 

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