Mexican drug cartels thrive in Colombia

Mexican drug cartels have partnered with local Clolbian guerrillas to produce cocaine

Mexican drug cartels thrive in Colombia
In previous decades, Mexican cartels only participated in the smuggling and distribution of cocaine but now they have taken a more active role – Photo: Raúl Arboleda/AFP
English 21/11/2019 09:45 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 18:41
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In the beginning, Colombian drug cartels joined forces with criminal groups in Mexico that planted marijuana and poppy, while South Americans specialized on cocaine, because of two main reasons: the same language and idiosyncrasy, as well as the Mexicans' knowledge about drug and human trafficking routes to the U.S., the biggest market for drug traffickers.

After the downfall of the Medellín cartel and the fall and death of Pablo Escobar Gaviria, Mexican cartels started to take over the business and after a series of internal failures inside the South American cartels cut the flow of cocaine purchased by Mexican criminals.

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We mention this because the Free Press Foundation of Bogotá has revealed that in recent months, several Colombian journalists have been threatened by Mexican drug cartels. So far, two journalists have fled the country and three others are at risk. The threats made by Mexican drug traffickers is the response to several articles and investigations that have revealed the links the cartels have established with dissidents from the former guerrilla known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as with the members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the Cauca region.

Furthermore, the Mexican cartels aim to control the production process and the commercialization of cocaine, starting with the planting of coca leaves, something that is new since their participation was limited to the distribution of the drug in the U.S. and Europe.

Mexican cartels reach Central America

In July 2019, a local indigenous community revealed its intention to stop cultivating illegal crops. The Mexican drug traffickers responded by threatening indigenous leaders and local authorities if they affected their operations in south-western Colombia.

Currently, Mexican drug cartels have a presence in all the continents and there are more and more cases about Mexicans arrested in different countries, for trying to smuggle drugs into those countries. Eradicating drug trafficking has become an almost impossible task since it is not a national problem; it has expanded to different countries.

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