20 October 2010

Record Mexican Pot Bust Even Mas Grande than First Thought: now 134.2 tons/$428M

Sinaloa cartel exploiting Tijuana corridor "unimpeded"

Mexico's largest-ever seizure of marijuana packaged for sale is even bigger than the original estimate of 105 tons and probably belonged to the country's most powerful drug-trafficking cartel, authorities said Tuesday. 

The Sinaloa cartel run by Mexico's most wanted fugitive, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, now is moving drugs through the Tijuana corridor "unimpeded," said a U.S. law enforcement official in Mexico, a possible reason why violence has dropped in the city across the border from San Diego, California, since a bloody peak in 2008... 

Mexican soldiers and police grabbed the U.S.-bound marijuana in pre-dawn raids Monday in three neighborhoods when 11 people arrested after a shootout led authorities to the drugs. Army officials first said the drugs weighed 105 tons and had an estimated street value of 4.2 billion pesos, about $340 million. But authorities said the haul was even bigger Tuesday, counting 15,300 packages — 5,000 more than first announced... By comparison, U.S. authorities seized a total of 123 tons of marijuana during 2009 at all San Diego-area border crossings. 

...marijuana cultivation is up in Mexico since 2005, more than doubling to 21.5 million metric tons in 2008. Marijuana seizures on the U.S. side of the border also have increased from about 1,000 to 1,500 metric tons between 2005 and 2009... 

The Sinaloa cartel controls distribution in neighboring Sonora state and the city of Mexicali, only 120 miles east of Tijuana. It also controls areas to the east and is warring for control of the border city of Cuidad Juarez..

But nobody should be surprised that Mexico's most wanted fugitive now moves drugs into San Diego almost unchallenged by either government (except for yesterday lol) and/or rivals... yesterday the DHS itself admitted that over half the US-Mexican border -over 1000 miles- is not even under "effective control". Maybe someone should explain to 'Big Sis' Incompetano that opening-up most of the SW United States to drug smugglers isn't helping the Mexican government at-all.

And while a shaky Mexico struggles with these rich, powerful, and merciless gangs and their paramilitaries, Obama dozes... America's border is violated with impunity... and cartels feel free to send 15 assassins into Arizona to wipe-out anyone disrupts the distribution channels- at what point does all this officially qualify as an invasion?

Amusingly, the 15,300 bricks of weed confiscated in yesterday's record bust feature sytematic color-coding (by destination?) as well as professionally-produced labels, like this one with Homer Simpson and a Spanish double entendre meaning either:
"I'm going partying" or "I'm crossing illegally"... cute.

Slide-show pictures of the Mexican mega-bust -here-
photo: CBS News

So chalk one up for the Federales, but sadly in a ongoing bloody civil war that's already produced 5x more casualties than the US suffered in Iraq... 

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