Teenagers in the Mexican City of Ciuadad Juarez are paid about $85 (1,000 Mexican Pesos) by drug cartels to carry out assassinations and murders on their behalf.
There have also been of minors in Mexico being paid up to $1,000 for working two weeks for the cartels.
Source: Ioan Grillo, El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, Bloomsbury Press: New York, 2012, page 165.
An article in the USA Today stated that there were up to 27,000 people who are missing or vanished in Mexico since the conflict over drug trafficking began in 2006. The article also mentions a Human Rights Report that found 249 cases of forced disappearance that was conducted with the use of security services in Mexico.
Source: David Agren, “Mother’s Day in Mexico: Time to reflect on missing kids,” USA Today, May 10, 2013.
From July 2012 to November 2012, there were a reported 6,432 homicides in Mexico that were related to organized crime killings.
From December 2012 to April 2013, the first five months of President Enrqiue Pena Nieto’s administration, officials reported that the number of organized crime related homicides decreased by 18 percent to 5,296.
During the five months of Pena Nieto’s administration, 218 police and solders were killed by organized crime activities. In the July to November 2012 time frame, 244 security service members were killed.
Source: EFE, “Organized crime-related homicides in Mexico down 18 pct,” GlobalPost, May 11, 2013.
Mexican State Oil Company Pemex discovered 1,744 illegal siphons of its oil pipelines in 2012, a 23.2 percent increase from the 1,416 illegal siphons in 2011.
The rate of oil theft continued to increase into 2013, as the company discovered 730 illegal siphons in the first four months of the year, compared to 377 during the same time the year before.
In the first four months of 2013, security personnel have arrested 48 people for siphoning oil from pipelines and arrested 180 people for oil smuggling activities.
Source: James Bargent, “Oil and Gas Theft in Mexico Doubled in 2013,” Insight Crime, May 10, 2013.
According to a report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at least 9 Canadians who were associated with organized crime activities were killed in Mexico between 2008 to 2012.
The internal report by the RCMP stated that Mexican drug cartels are expanding their influence in Canada’s drug trade.
Source: Peter Edwards, “Mexican drug cartel violence hits Canadian mobsters,” Toronto Star, April 19, 2013.
Between Fiscal Year 2003 to Fiscal Year 2010, authorities with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized over $500 Million in cash that was being illegally smuggled in the United States. Nearly 20 percent of that total ($100 Million) was seized in 2010. Authorities also arrested over 1,300 for cash smuggling during that time period.
The amount of cash smuggled from the United States into Mexico by drug traffickers is estimated to be between $6 Billion to $36 Billion a year.
Due to a crackdown on money laundering firms, drug cartels and other criminal organizations are turning to bulk cash smuggling in order to transport their proceeds. According to Insight Crime, the two main methods to do this is to smuggle cash in commercial vehicles and by breaking up the total funds in to smaller amounts and having many people smuggle in across the border.
Source: James Bargent, “Ecuador Bulk Cash Smuggling Reflects New Laundering Trend,” Insight Crime, April 11, 2013.
During the 2011 Fiscal Year, agents with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized over $150 Million from illegal drug trafficking between the United States and Mexico. The agency also made 428 arrests during cash smuggling operations. Back in FY 2005, agents seized $7.3 Million.
The Mexican Government estimates that up to $64 Billion in ilicit drug proceeds is transfered between the US and Mexico each year.
In 2012, the United States Justice Department stated that the amount of money could be as high as $85 Billlion.
Source: Griselda Nevarez, “Money Laundering Fuels Drug Cartels Affecting Border Security,” Huffington Post, April 6, 2013.
Security officials in Mexico eradicated 40 percent more poppy crops than marijuana crops in 2012.
12,347 hectares of poppy was eradicated in 2012, compared to 8,670 hectares of marijuana. Back in 2007, marijuana was being destroyed at a 50 percent rate higher than poppy, with 22,965 hectares of marijuana destroyed compared to 11,393 hectares of poppy.
In the decrease in the trafficking of marijuana has also been dropping when looking at the seizure rates. In 2007, authorities seized 2,068 tons of marijuana in 2007, and 1,154 tons in 2012. Heroin seizures rose from 124 kilos in 2007 to 3,716 kilos in 2012.
7 percent of the world heroin market is supplied by Mexico.
(See prices of marijuana per gram.)
Source: Marguerite Cawley “40% More Poppy Grown in Mexico than Marijuana: Govt,” Insight Crime, April 3, 2013.
A study published in Mexico found that the Sinaloa Drug Cartel controls up to 80 percent of the illegal methamphetamine market in the United States.
Researcher Jose Luis Leon from the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico found that the trafficking of meth is a global industry.
The cartels first purchase precursor chemicals such as ephedrine and pseudophedrin from supplies in Asia. The two products are banned in Mexico and must be purchased abroad. After the chemicals are shipped to ports in Mexico and Guatemala, it is then transported to meth labs in Michoacan, Jalisco, Sonora and Sinaloa.
From the labs, the meth is smuggled across the border and sold in the United States.
The money generated from the US sales is then sent to China, where it is used to purchase additional drug presursors. Mexican drug cartels are also using the funds to purchase domestica appliances and other consumer goods and legally selling those products back in Mexico, thus successfully laundering the illicit revenue.
Source: Santiago Wills, “This Mexican Cartel Controls 80 Percent of the U.S. Meth Trade, Study Finds,” ABC News, April 2, 2013.
An avocado grower in Mexico sated that she was paying Mexican drug cartels up to $16,000 a month in extortion fees.
The cartels charge avocado growers by the hectares, and charge extortion fees to avocado packers by the box.
The industry in Mexico generates up to $75 Billion a year in sales. Growers are concerned that buyers will begin to avoid their product if the think that a portion of their sales are lining the pockets of the cartels. Thus, most growers are not raising their prices to cover the extortion fees.
Source: ”Drug cartels weigh down Mexico’s ‘green gold’,” Al Jazeera, April 1, 2013.