12/29/2011- The northwestern pacific state of Sinaloa is joining Veracruz with a surge of federal police forces to join and complement the increased military presence and local municipal police units already on the ground. However, unlike the mass firings of police officers in Veracruz, Sinaloa is taking a different approach that is more in line with how the U.S. Border Patrol operates customs and checkpoints, but targeted exclusively for cartel activity. As of the new year, Federal Police (Policía Federal, PF) will start to take over local law enforcement duties to combat municipal corruption by installing roadblocks and checkpoints throughout the state. They are set to begin operation on January 3, 2012.
Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez stated in an interview that the increased force and presence of federal forces in conjunction with the physical roadblocks would inhibit the commission of crimes. Higuera also revealed that “conflicted areas” are going to have a heavy presence of PF agents, with the total amount distributed throughout the Sinaloa state reportedly at 400 units. In addition, the Sinaloa Attorney General’s office (Procuraduría General de la Justicia del Estado) revealed during a meeting with Federal Police Commissioner Antonio Garza Garcia that street surveillance is already under way.
The news of the heightened surveillance comes just after the breaking discovery of a raided drug lab in a quiet town. The second crystal meth bust in two days occurred Tuesday night in El Carrizal, in the northern area of the state next to the capital of Sinaloa. Federal troops seized more than 120 kilograms of solid methamphetamine, 480 liters of liquid methamphetamine, 550 liters of materials, and an undisclosed amount of powder cocaine. There have been no arrests yet and it is unknown which cartel was running the drug laboratory. This type of raid is what the introduction of federal forces would hope to find and stop the ease in which the trafficking occurs through intra-state routes.
Video Credit: Reuters
Wednesday, Mexican authorities seized 120 metric tons of materials for methamphetamine production at the Lazaro Cardenas port. The Larzo Cardenas port bust was the fifth such large shipment seized so far in December. According to the Washington Post, while 1,200 tons of meth precursor were seized in Mexico in all of 2011, the newest methamphetamine busts have brought December’s total to 675 metric tons seized, which accounts for more than half of the yearly total.