Mexico sees seizures of meth, fentanyl soar since 2019

MEXICO CITY — Mexican drug cartels are turning to larger, extra productive labs to churn out growing portions of artificial medication like meth and fentanyl, in keeping with seizure figures issued Monday by the nation’s Defense Department.

The protection secretary, Gen. Luis Cresencio Sandoval, acknowledged there was an enormous shift by Mexican cartels away from naturally grown medication like opium and marijuana, the place seizures and crop eradication has fallen.

But he stated seizures of the artificial opioid fentanyl soared 525% within the first three years of the present administration, which took workplace Dec. 1, 2018, in comparison with the earlier three years. Law enforcement seized 1,232 kilos (559 kilograms) of fentanyl in 2016-2018 and seven,710 kilos (3,497 kilograms) in 2019-2021.

Part of that improve was on account of elevated total use of fentanyl, which Mexican cartels import from China after which press into tablets or combine into different medication.

“There was a change in consumption, there was a change in drug markets as a result of ease of producing artificial medication,” Sandoval stated. For instance, cartels now not must pay farmers to develop opium poppies and painstakingly accumulate the opium previous that oozes from the bulbs.

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Seizures of methamphetamines, in the meantime, greater than doubled. Meth seizures rose from 120,100 kilos (54,521 kilograms) in 2016-2018 to nearly 275,000 kilos (124,735 kilograms) within the final three years, a rise of 128%.

Mexican cartels are more and more turning to very large, industrial-scale labs to churn out artificial medication.

Sandoval stated the quantity of drug labs raided fell from 287 in 2016-2018 to 203 during the last three years. But those who had been detected had been larger, he added.

“The laboratories which were found or seized on this administration have had bigger capacities, which has allowed us to grab a bigger amount of methamphetamine merchandise,” Sandoval stated.

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Mexico’s artificial drug increase was illustrated final week when a trucker from Mexico was arrested after attempting to smuggle record-breaking quantities of meth and fentanyl into the U.S.

More than 17,500 kilos (7,930 kilograms) of meth and 389 kilos (176 kilograms) of fentanyl had been found Thursday hidden inside a tractor-trailer on the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, in keeping with a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The seizures had been the most important of both drug within the U.S. for each 2020 and 2021, the assertion stated.

Sandoval touted the elevated seizures in Mexico as an indication of the federal government’s success.

But Mexican safety analyst Alejandro Hope famous that “a rise in seizures could be a very unhealthy signal.”

“It could possibly be as a result of of a larger effort, or it could possibly be as a result of there’s a larger quantity” of unlawful medication being produced, he stated.

Hope stated that exterior indicators — just like the report bust final week at Otay Mesa — counsel Mexican authorities “have not affected the movement within the least.”

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Mexican cartels press fentanyl into counterfeit oxycodone and different tablets, which regularly include deadly quantities of the artificial opioid. That has precipitated about 64,000 overdose deaths within the United States during the last 12 months.

Anne Milgram, the top of the Drug Enforcement Administration, informed CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “the cartels are mass producing these tablets in Mexico, principally, they usually’re making them appear to be they’re actual oxycodone, like they’re actual hydrocodone, Percocet, Adderall, after which they’re bringing them flooding into the United States and falsely promote them, marketing them as if they had been actual prescribed drugs.”

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