Mexico‘s government has said that a total of $502 million in cash has been seized from organized criminal groups during the Calderon administration.
The announcement follows a report some days previously that the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) had seized $266 million from organized crime in this period. The new figure, almost twice as high, seems to include cash seized by the army and navy as well as by the police.
The reported amount far surpasses that recovered during previous administrations, representing a figure nine times greater than that achieved during the administration of Ernesto Zedillo, and over 10 times that of the figure seized during the the administration of Vicente Fox.
Mexico’s Deputy Attorney General for Special Investigations on Organized Crime (SIEDO), Patricia Bugarin Gutierrez, who announced the figures, told a meeting of senators, congressmen, academics and human rights advocates that the efforts of Mexico’s security forces were dealing a financial blow to those involved in organized crime.
While the figures may sound impressive, as InSight Crime has previously reported, they represent only a small fraction of the $39 billion in illicit cash which is thought to enter Mexico annually from the drug trade.