The army dismantled 113 synthetic drug laboratories in the first 34 months after President López Obrador took office, a 70% decrease compared to the same period of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency.
According to a National Defense Ministry (Sedena) report obtained by the newspaper Milenio via a freedom of information request, the narco-labs were discovered between December 2018 and September 2021 in more than 10 states.
The total number of dismantled labs was 258 fewer than the number destroyed during the first 34 months of Peña Nieto’s 2012-18 government.
Sixty of the meth and fentanyl labs, or 53% of the total, were located in three states where the Sinaloa Cartel dominates. The army detected 46 in Sinaloa including 26 in state capital Culiacán and 15 in neighboring Cosalá, 10 in Durango and four in Sonora.
News of the discoveries comes just days after the United States government announced rewards of up to US $5 million each for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of four sons of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera.
The State Department said last week that Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar were operating sophisticated fentanyl laboratories in Culiacán, and that Joaquín Guzmán López and Ovidio Guzmán López were overseeing about 11 methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa.
The Sedena report said that 27 of the dismantled labs were located in Jalisco and Michoacán, where the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is the dominant criminal group.
Among the other states where narco-labs were found were Guerrero, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Colima, Hidalgo, México state, Morelos and Puebla.
Meanwhile, the United States Border and Customs Protection (CBP) reported Friday that drug seizures in that country increased 90% in November.
“CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Operations agents continue to interdict the flow of illicit narcotics. Nationwide, drug seizures were up 90% in November over the prior month, as CBP eased travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers,” it said.
The CBP said that seizures of methamphetamine rose 164%, while cocaine confiscations increased 41%. Fentanyl seizures were up 7% while those of heroin fell 12%.
With reports from Milenio