Mexican drug cartels reach the European Union

In the last three years, Mexican drug cartels have expanded their dominion in the cocaine business while they also emerge as a potential threat in the meth market in the European Union

Mexican drug cartels reach the European Union
An anti-narcotics police officer carries a sack containing packages of cocaine – Photo: Fernando Vergara/AP
English 27/11/2019 17:20 Mexico City Inder Bugarin Actualizada 17:32
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From being isolated actors in the world of organized crime in the European Union, in the last three years, Mexican cartels have expanded their tentacles in the cocaine business while they also emerge as a potential threat in the meth market.

The alert comes from a report in which the Europol and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction update the map of drug trafficking in the EU. The document, to which EL UNIVERSAL had access, was published yesterday in the headquarters of the European Commission. It is the third analysis of its kind since 2013 and has been elaborated with information from intelligence and the monitoring of the evolution of the manufacture and trafficking of drugs both inside and outside the block.

The study asserts that “the organized crime groups that previously were only involved in the EU marginally, such as Mexican cartels, are believed to have intensified their cooperation with other criminal groups to orchestrate cocaine trafficking into the EU.”

Historically, the community market of cocaine had been dominated by the alliance among the Italian mafia, such as the Ndrangheta, and Colombian cartels, but the arrest of several Italian criminals and the fragmentation of the cocaine business in Colombia have opened the way for new actors in recent years.

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“The operations of British, Dutch, French, Irish, Moroccan, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish, and Albanian organized crime groups to transport cocaine directly from South America to Europe, or even to acquire cocaine directly in or near the producer countries, are becoming increasingly established.”

Another concerning evolution identified by the agencies with headquarters in The Hague and Lisbon is the expansion of the market of stimulants like amphetamines, ecstasy, and meth. Regarding the latter, the document puts lights on the participation of Mexican cartels.

The document made with additional information from agencies such as the DEA and the police services from Scotland and Colombia asserts that Europe is being used as a trampoline for meth trafficking into Asia and Oceania. The synthetic drug is made in Africa, Iran, and more recently, in Mexico.

There are indicators that suggest that Mexican and African meth could stay in the EU for the consumption of some of the member States. “The dismantling if three large centers of crystal meth production in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2019 in which Mexicans were involved, suggests that Europe could be emerging as a global provider of this drug.”

Did you know Mexican drug cartels thrive in Colombia?

The laboratories with Mexican seal dismantled in February, May, and June, were characterized by using BMK (benzyl methyl ketone) and tartaric acid to produce a much more potent drug.

“This technique has been used in Mexico by organized crime groups since 2012 to supply large consumption markets in the U.S. Recent information suggests that the know-how has been transferred to Europe.” Hence, the report points out, the EU needs to assess “the threats linked to Mexican organized crime groups” in the region to “develop answers.”

Have you heard Mexican drug cartels sell up to 15 types of drugs online?


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