There's An Unexpected Casualty To This Pandemic: Mexican Cartels
This is actually a semi-positive result of the Corona Virus, which is really something considering there is not much in the way of good news when it comes to this pandemic. It turns out the quarantining and shortage of medical supplies is actually hurting the Mexican Cartels. They are losing money as fewer people are traveling and China can no longer supply them with the medical supplies they need to create drugs like Fentanyl. But unfortunately, it is not enough to put them out of commission as they may resort to other means if the drug sales continue to plummet.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has sent the price of heroin, methamphetamines and fentanyl soaring, as the likes of the Sinaloa cartel – and its main rival, the Jalisco “New Generation” – struggle to obtain the necessary chemicals to make the synthetic drugs, which typically come from China and are now in minimal supply.
“The cartels have suffered from COVID-19 due to the inability to get the regular shipments of synthetic opioids and precursor chemicals for the massive production of meth from China,” Derek Maltz, a former special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Operations Division in New York, told Fox News.
“The cartels have continued their production at a slower rate, but the demand seems to be increasing during these times of uncertainty in America. The shutdown of cities in China and travel in and out of China have also negatively impacted the flow of chemicals and drugs to Mexico.”
"According to Maltz, the cartels have raised the prices of their products – as much as 400 percent – and “will get through the tough times,” especially since their business is so profitable.
And Daniel Romero, an Argentina-based analyst and expert in narco-trafficking, observed that while he is yet to see any sweeping changes to the cartel business model, small dealers in the region are now relying more heavily on using drones with posts to transport cocaine.
“These drones with GPS go from one point to another in the way of posts, where they change batteries,” Romero explained. “And payments are performed on e-commerce platforms.”
However, the lockdown constraints have also crippled the cartel business model beyond just the drug trade. The usually frequent shipments from China, stuffed with counterfeit luxury goods, clothes, and household items sold in Mexico City by the Union de Tepito cartel, have all but disappeared..."
And the truly concerning result may be what Cartels resort to when they can't sell drugs.
“When their normal M.O. isn’t making them a lot of money, they switch to extortion and kidnapping, which is exactly what happened to a neighbor,” one young professional based in Guadalajara, who requested anonymity due to safety concerns, told Fox News this past weekend. “He was assaulted while they went to his house and bank.”
So it could get increasingly violent in Mexico as this pandemic continues. But perhaps this virus will give the authorities the opportunity to take down one of these Cartels.