Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cancún International Airport was used as key narcotics distribution hub by Beltrán-Leyva, Mexico's SEIDO says

A million bucks in bribe money kept lips sealed

Cancún, Quintana Roo -
The Beltrán-Leyva Cartel was a short-lived (2006-2010) drug trafficking organization that's been out of business for two years. But news sources report today that the cartel regularly used this resort city's international airport as a stopping point for drugs being flown in from South America, principally cocaine. The narcotics were warehoused for a few hours or few days, and generally switched to other aircraft before continuing on their way west and north. The most common connecting point was Toluca, capital of the State of Mexico in the south-central part of the republic. Obviously, this could not have occurred without the active participation of many.

MGRR has previously reported on the use of the Cancún International Airport as a major gateway for U.S. and Europe-bound cocaine: More dope comes ashore in Quintana Roo. Local news sources in Q.R. state claim that it could only be done with the knowledge and assistance of plenty of people in Mexican law enforcement.

Cancún is not the only city facing such a problem. In late June the federal government suggested that the same thing had been going on in the Federal District: "Narco Feds" operating out of Mexico City airport sent huge amount of drugs to U.S., Europe, aided by Mexican customs agents.

Sergio Villarreal Barragán, a top official of the now defunct Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, described the "air bridge" operation to Mexico's Office for Special Investigations of Organized Crime (SIEDO) on May 22. But SIEDO didn't release his testimony until today, right before he was extradited to the United States to answer criminal charges. The story was reported by, a Mexican news agency.

Villarreal Barragán told investigators that many federal and local officials in Cancún had been bribed to guarantee the success of the air bridge. Tower control personnel, customs and immigration agents, baggage handlers and even airport firemen were paid off. "They shared $900,000 dollars," he said.

SIEDO (Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada) is the same federal agency which last January reported that Yucatán - and half of Mexico - belong to Los Zetas.

Oct. 4 - Is Beltrán-Leyva still in business, and did it hire the August hit on two CIA agents in Mexico? Read Fallout continues after attack on CIA agents, as Mexico and U.S. disagree over what happened at Tres Marías.

Sept. 21 - Routine traffic stop in Mérida yields "Boss of the Plaza" in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen - operative of Sinaloa Cartel.

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