Expanding Pacific markets for Mexican mega traffickers
The government of the Philippines has announced that it will investigate whether Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel is operating in the country after the arrest this week of three persons who allegedly have ties to the far flung narcotics organization.
Sinaloa, generally known in Mexico as the Cartel of the Pacific, is controlled by Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, the most wanted drug trafficker in the world. Chicago calls El Chapo Guzmán "Public Enemy # 1."
Earlier this year authorities reported the Sinaloa Cartel has 90% domination of the U.S. drug market.
A spokesperson for Philippine president Benigno Aquino said the country will intensify its cooperation with drug enforcement agencies in other countries after the arrest of three persons at a synthetic drug warehouse 75 kilometers south of Manila, purportedly operated by the Sinaloa Cartel. The unnamed suspects were described as of Philippine and Chinese ancestry, but the government did not exclude the possibility that Mexican members of the cartel might have entered the country, perhaps carrying U.S. passports.
A reliable Mexican news source, quoting an unidentified Philippine police agency, reported today that an intelligence operation by U.S. DEA agents may have led to the arrests, which included the seizure of 84 kilos of methamphetamine valued at $9.4 million USD, together with firearms. The source said there has been no confirmation that Mexican traffickers are physically present and doing business on Philippine soil, however.
Last March a Mexican researcher published a study which reported the Sinaloa Cartel became a global enterprise by diversification in the manufacture and distribution of drugs, including cocaine, opiates, marijuana, designer drugs and especially methamphetamine. José Luis León Manríquez, a Ph.D. in political science at Colombia University in New York, concluded the monolithic narcotics cartel controls a triangular market between Mexico, the United States and Asia. Dr. León found that Sinaloa has been a major producer and exporter of meth since the 1990s and enjoys a monopoly on the drug in many countries.
Mexican involvement in Asian drug manufacturing and trafficking is of increasing concern to many countries. In August a federal appeals court in Kuala Lumpur upheld the death sentences for drug manufacturing and possession imposed on three Sinaloan brothers in May 2012. Malaysian court: Mexican brothers must hang. But no evidence was produced linking the condemned men to the notorious cartel in that case.
The Philippine government has also suggested that Chinese gangs may be producing synthetic drugs in the 7,100 island nation.
Chapo Guzmán escaped from a Mexican prison in January 2001 and has been on the lam since. The U.S. and Mexico have offered combined rewards of $7 million for his capture. He has been indicted several times in American courts, most recently in April 2012 in El Paso. In that case Guzmán faces allegations of drug smuggling, kidnapping, conspiracy, murder, money laundering and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The charges carry a sentence of up to life imprisonment without parole. Twenty-two other key Sinaloa cartel operatives were also charged with him. El Chapo Guzmán indicted by feds in El Paso.
Cancún and Quintana Roo are not under a U.S. advisory, but maybe they should be. A local boss of the cartel was arrested in nearby Mérida in September 2012.
Jan. 3, 2014 - A key member of the Anthrax Group was arrested on his arrival in Amsterdam this week. Dutch immigration officials apparently took him into custody on a tip from Washington. The State Dept. will seek his extradition to the U.S., where he is facing federal charges in the Southern District of California.
Apr. 21 - Mexican drug cartels "have their tentacles in Canada," reports Montreal newspaper
Apr. 12 - Mexican drug cartels have strong foothold in Europe
Mar. 31 - Mexican drug traffickers find ready assistance in mules carrying American passports
Feb. 11 - The Chicago Connection: Sinaloa Cartel moves cocaine from Windy City to Australia
Feb. 10 - Mexican marines arrest chief executioner for El Chapo Guzmán in Sinaloa state
Jan. 13 - Mexican drug cartels operate in 1,286 U.S. cities
Nov. 29, 2012 - The sad end of Miss Sinaloa - A Mexican beauty queen who died with an AK-47 at her side
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