Mexicans, drug mules in Latin America

The countries with more Mexicans arrested for drug-related activities are Peru, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela

Mexicans, drug mules in Latin America
A Colombian anti-drug policeman shows the press a package of confiscated cocaine – Photo: Javier Casella/REUTERS
English 20/07/2019 10:13 José Meléndez / corresponsal Mexico City Actualizada 10:13
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Coldly, undeterred, confident, and used to fulfill his criminal mission, from 2012, the Mexican Juan Luis Mendoza Montoya infringed more than 50 times the anti-drug controls in airport terminals of Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Panamá and Perú for the traffic of cocaine to Mexico by air in commercial flights.

His raids to elude authorities of six countries concluded in March 2014, when he was identified by Colombia as the human mail of Mexico with more migratory movements in Latin America to traffic narcotics. He was arrested in El Dorado airport, in Bogota, with 25 kilograms of high-purity cocaine on his power.

Originally from Chiapas, Mendoza is serving his sentence of 10 years and eight months of prison in Colombia. His record barely illustrates the intense activity of Mexicans recruited as mules or couriers for the smuggling of illicit drugs from their production centers in South America to the big consumer markets in the U.S.

In police jargon, “momias” (as they are called in Spanish) are people who adhere packages of cocaine to their abdomen and other parts of the body with special tape, while couriers donkeys or mules – carry the goods hidden in their packages or ingested in condoms, with risk to their health for the threat of the condoms breaking.

A relentless deployment of Mexican drug dealers in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru or in Central America, makes it possible to direct the production, transportation, distribution, and marketing of narcotics, in small missions or ant works in gigantic operations to traffic tons of cocaine.

Registers of the Mexico Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) from December 31st, 2018 confirmed that, out of the 1,095 Mexicans arrested in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Oceania, 843 are in Latin American and Caribbean prisons and, from the total, 634 due to drug-related activities.

A count of the SRE showed that the number of Mexicans imprisoned in Latin America and the Caribbean went from 870 on June 30th, 2017 to 861 on December 31st of the current year. By the end of June 2017, there were 699 prisoners for crimes against public health and drug dealing, while in December 2017 there were 682 for the same offenses, according to the count.

The report from December 2018 showed that the countries with more Mexicans in prison are Peru, with 234; Colombia, with 153; Panama, with 63; Ecuador, with 59; Costa Rica, with 49; Cuba, with 18, and Venezuela, with 10.

In the case of Mendoza, when the Colombia Attorney General announced his capture for aggravated traffic, manufacture, and possession of narcotics, it described him as the Mexican “with the highest record of migratory movements as human mail,” in South America.

In two years, this man infringed the filters of the police more than 50 times in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Panama with loads of drugs, after stays of no longer than two or three days in those nations on the road to Mexico, according to the Attorney General. “The drug-sniffer dogs were uneasy, which caused the curiosity of the police officers of the airport terminal, who found the alkaloid without great effort since it was not camouflaged, which surprised the authorities,” it highlighted.

It was coldness that betrayed the Mexican holder of the record as an international drug courier.



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