Cancun, Mexico – The honeymoon stage of your honeymoon is not the one you were expecting.
Cancun is a beautiful, serene city in the central Mexican state of Oaxaca.
It’s known as one of the most picturesque destinations in the world, but its also known as a hub of the drug trade, where drug cartels have established lucrative drug smuggling routes, and where many of the countrys most dangerous drug dealers operate.
A few weeks ago, a report from the US Drug Enforcement Administration found that Mexico had a “very high” rate of cocaine seizures and a “huge” drug demand.
And while Cancuns drug seizures are down, there’s a big increase in the demand for heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and cannabis.
“We have a lot of people who are addicted to these drugs and they’re desperate,” says Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesperson for the national government.
“It’s not just the tourists that are involved, the drug lords are using these drugs as well.”
For the past decade, Mexico has been trying to crack down on the trafficking of drugs, with a focus on organised crime and kidnapping.
“If you can’t catch a person that’s selling drugs in the US, what do you do?” says Luis Martinez, a researcher at the Mexican Institute for National Security.
Martinez, who is currently based in the country, says it is the biggest challenge Mexico faces in the fight against the drug war.
Mexico has an estimated 500,000-800,000 people living in coca fields in the western part of the US state of Colorado.
The US Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), a Washington, DC-based think tank, has estimated that the country has about 3,500 coca plants that are cultivated annually, and that coca has been growing for at least 100 years.
While the cartels are responsible for the vast majority of coca grown in Mexico, the DPA estimates that cocaine seizures have increased by 300 per cent in the past five years.
“What’s happening is the cartels use these coca plantations for their profits,” says Martinez.
“The US and other countries are seeing that these cocas are grown in the southern part of Mexico.
So, there is a direct connection to the US.”
The US, like most countries, does not regulate coca.
“Mexico is the most difficult country in the hemisphere to get drugs into Mexico,” says Marti.
“Because there is no control on how much cocaine is produced, how much of it is being transported, and the prices of these products, the prices in Mexico are so high that it is difficult to sell to the American market.”
In the past, the cartels would say that it’s a very good thing for the country to export coca,” he says. “
Mexico has to start making a lot more sense of the fact that these drugs are coming to them.”
Cocaine in MexicoCosts about $3,000 to produce a kilogram of coconuts, which are then sold for about $20 to $30 a gram. “
But in the future, they will be exporting them to America and it will be an issue for the United States.”
Cocaine in MexicoCosts about $3,000 to produce a kilogram of coconuts, which are then sold for about $20 to $30 a gram.
The product can be sold at Mexican grocery stores for about half that amount.
Cocain can be made in the same way as heroin, but it is much stronger and is used to make methamphetamine, according to the DPSA.
Cocaine, however, is much harder to produce than heroin and is typically sold for between $20 and $30 per gram.
The Mexican government has also been working to try and tackle the cartels and drug demand, with the establishment of the National Anti-Drug Commission in 2018.
Its goal is to crack the drug supply chain and stop the cartels from growing coca and heroin crops.
“There is a lot that is needed to make the coca crop in Mexico profitable,” says Rosalba Castro, the commission’s director.
“A lot of the cocas grown in Mexican areas are harvested for their cocaine and it is sold to the world for a very low price,” she says.
“They’re making money by selling these drugs, but that’s not the whole story.”
The DPA has also worked with the Mexican military to create a task force that aims to combat the coco crop, and to provide funding to local authorities to develop local production and distribution networks.
“I think this is the beginning of a new era,” says Castro.
“We are beginning to see the change.”