Marijuana seized in Mexico

Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel controls more than 40 land, sea and air marijuana trafficking routes that run throughout Mexico and to various parts of the US and Europe, highlighting the extent of the organization's control over the trade.

According to government documents obtained by La Jornada, the Sinaloa Cartel controls the majority of areas where marijuana is cultivated in Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco states, and also vies for power over cultivation in Oaxaca and Guerrero with the Zetas.

The majority -- 90 percent -- of the marijuana is moved by land, with routes originating in Guerrero and Oaxaca leading to the capital, and other routes moving south to north or inland to the coast. Land routes used to traffic marijuana to the United States include Tijuana to Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Ciudad Juarez to San Antonio, Texas; and Chihuahua to Douglas, Arizona and El Paso, Texas.

From the capital, marijuana flights leave bound for various US cities, including Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, and for European cities such as Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Madrid, Spain, which are used as jumping off points for marijuana distribution in Europe.Chapo Marihuana Routes

InSight Crime Analysis

Mexico is one of the world's biggest marijuana supplier countries, with North America as a whole accounting for 69 percent of global marijuana seizures in 2011 -- the majority in the United States and Mexico, according to the United Nations' 2013 World Drug Report.

The extent of the Sinaloa Cartel's control over Mexican marijuana routes and production is not surprising, given various operations that have pointed to Sinaloa involvement in the past two years. In November 2011, US authorities took down a smuggling operation believed to have trafficked $2 billion in drugs from Mexico to Arizona, including 1,300 tons of marijuana, with the Sinaloa Cartel thought to be the source of the drugs. The largest marijuana farm ever found in Mexico as of 2011 -- 120 hectares -- was located in Baja California, a Sinaloa Cartel operational center.

What is perhaps most interesting is that the cartel is shipping marijuana to Europe. According to European police force Europol [pdf], most of the marijuana consumed in European countries does not come from Latin America but is either imported from North Africa, South-West Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans and sub-Saharan Africa or it is grown locally. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...