Mexican authorities announced the find of seven tons of precursor chemicals, used in the production of synthetic drugs, in the Pacific port city of Manzanillo, Colima.
As news agency EFE reports, the chemicals, discovered by marines, were stashed in 35 different barrels. Authorities did not say where the seized cargo had arrived from, though typically precursor chemicals arrive in Mexico from Asia.
Manzanillo, one of Mexico’s largest western ports, is a valuable entry point for contraband traversing the Pacific Ocean, and has earned notoriety for a number of significant seizures. Indeed, while the seven tons are an impressive haul, they are just a drop in the bucket when compared to the total amount of chemicals confiscated in recent years: almost 300 tons since September 2009, 54 of them in a single seizure in late May.
Colima was long considered to be the territory of the Sinaloa Cartel and its Pacific operator Ignacio Coronel, who was nicknamed the “King of Ice” for his focus on methamphetamine production. However, with Coronel’s death last summer, the region has been subjected to increased fighting among groups seeking to take control of the dead capo’s old stomping grounds.
As InSight Crime reported earlier this week, the growth of methamphetamine production in Mexico, and with it the spike in seizures like those in Manzanillo, is in part a product of legislation banning the import of precursor chemicals into the U.S.