The Sinaloa cartel, one of the criminal organizations more powerful in the world, behind the trafficking of large quantities of drugs into the united States. However, due to the pandemic coronavirus, the supply chain has become complex.
The reason is that the chemical ingredients raw used by the cartels for the manufacture of methamphetamine and fentanyl come mainly from China, the epicentre of the outbreak, which has decreased the importation of inputs and has hit the market, mainly to the organization, led by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
The vulnerability that has been referred to the Sinaloa cartel has led to the rising prices of methamphetamine. By order of “The Mayo” the glass will go from 2,500 to 15,000 pesos.
A “chef” ally with the criminal group said to River Twelve that the indications they received last week through a message on Whatsapp which read, “If you do not obey, pay attention to the consequences.”
Although cooks usually have on hand a supply of chemicals for a month, in the last few days have presented difficulties to replenish stocks.
“The prices are very high at this time. Due to the coronavirus, there is very little distribution or importation from China to Mexico City. It is difficult to obtain the chemicals, the juice. You can get them, but the prices are going up for everyone,” said a cook to River Twelve.
Before the global crisis, a kilo of fentanyl was being sold at the wholesale 870,000 pesos. Currently costs up to 1,000,000 pesos.
The cooks of drug speculate that the price of methamphetamine, ordered by “El Mayo” has more to do with opportunism than with the shortage of chemical. Ensure that in the extent that the production of methamphetamine has increased the competition of rivals has increased and profit margins have decreased.
The powerful opiode synthetic ever flowed directly from China to the united States through the system of international mailbut a clampdown by the authorities of the asian country boosted production in Mexico, and now the chinese supplied the precursors to the little-regulated to the cooking process.
The mexican cartels have dominated the trade in crystal methamphetamine, especially since the middle of the decade, 2010, when the united States began to restrict the sale of cold medicines used to manufacture methamphetamine in local labs.
This has also encouraged mexican drug traffickers has decrease the production of heroin. The cartels have found it much more lucrative to manufacture synthetic drugs as they may occur throughout the year with chemicals that, until recently, were cheap and easily available. Heroin, by contrast, requires huge fields of poppy, which can only be harvested seasonally by farmers.
The drug cartels have not been immune
As increasing numbers of cases of coronavirus in the united States -69,210 confirmed cases— Mexico and the neighbor to the north announced new restrictions on border travel, a measure that it could mean new challenges for drug traffickersmainly the ones that smuggle their goods hidden in cars and trucks.
According to a conversation between drug traffickers of the Sinaloa Cartel and the journal River Twelve, the instability in the border has done to modify their modus operandi.
“You have like five days which worsened everything, and the last thing that we sent out were barely three pounds, although there are agreements with the border patrol, and when they go to cross merchandise the mule knows which checkpoint to cross, and if you close that gate, we give up because the bosses do not want to risk,” said a “mule” (drug trafficker).
Bryce Brown, a researcher from the RAND Corporation asserted that the illicit drug markets might be affected even more if the ports are forced to close or limit the operations in response to more outbreaks of coronavirus.
“There will be a large amount of goods at the ports, because there would not be enough people to download it […] The problem could be solved in Asia, but then on the side of the administration in the US and Mexico would have a retrasdo for people who can’t go to work ”, she specified.
The spokesman of the Agency for Drug control of US, Katherine Pfaff, assured River Twelve that they are tracking if the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the illicit drug markets, but it is too soon to say with any certainty what is happening.
“The DEA continues to monitor these things. It will be some time until we have a better idea of if the health emergency has affected or not the drug trafficking”.
The coronavirus should also be pasted in full in the health of the largest criminal group in Mexico City, the Union Tepito, that controls a large part of the counterfeit products in the country.
According to official documents, since 2010 the Union Tepito is the great conductor of an orchestra of merchants and gangsters that make possible the arrival of products made in China to the premises of the center of the capital of Mexico. One of these cells are The Marcopolos, who do not speak English or mandarin, but who know China as his own hand.
The Marcopolos negotiated the fraudulent goods and send them in containers that criss-cross the globe by sea. According to official reports, the products come usually to the tax-free zone of Belize and cross the border south into Mexico, without the seals of the ministry of Finance. Stepping on mexican soil, The Marcopolos fill the trailers of the Union Tepito and sent to Mexico City by land. Everything is unloaded in warehouses and the operation of China-Tepito closes another chapter.
In recent weeks, the cell criminal has been left without a travel to China, by the confinement that has forced the COVID-19. This has left businesses starved and without alternative routes of supply.
The merchants of the barrio bravo confirmed that since January the Union Tepito announced to the locals and leaders of itinerant travel to Asia were suspended, so they had to take care of your inventory.