The cartels' new 'tango route'

As we've discussed before, the Mexican cartels are ruthless and very good at making money.  We may see "illegal drugs" as a threat to our youth, and it is.  Mexico may see it as a threat to its sovereignty, and the chaos on the border confirms it.  The Mexican cartels see it as a business, and they will do whatever it takes to gain market share.

We learned today that Mexican cartels are using Argentina to do business.  This is a report from Strategy Page:

Call it the Southern Route. 

Argentine police believe a Mexican drug cartel is shipping cocaine through Argentina and shipping a lot of it. 

Police seized two metric tons of cocaine in the port of Bahia Blanca on June 19. 

The cocaine was hidden in steel coils in an effort to deceive customs and police electronic scanners. 

The big cache had a street value of at least $60 million. 

In the same anti-smuggling operation, Argentine security forces seized another half-ton of cocaine in in Mendoza province, near the border with Chile. 

And that indicates the new shipping route. 

Police say the usual route for drug smuggling in Argentina is Bolivia or Paraguay, not Chile, but Argentina's borders with Bolivia and Paraguay are heavily patrolled. 

Since the major territorial disputes between Argentina and Chile have been resolved their mutual border is more open. The cocaine route begins in Peru. 

The drugs may still transit Bolivia on the way to Chile. 

From Chile smugglers enter Argentina's Mendoza province and move the cocaine to an Argentine seaport for shipment. 

Police believe cocaine from the two metric tons discovered in Bahia Blanca had two destinations: Canada and Spain. 

Why do authorities suspect a Mexican cartel is involved? Police and security forces arrested 17 people in the anti-smuggling operation, and four of them were Mexican citizens from Michoacan state. Several major cartels have a significant presence in Michoacan state.

Again, no one ever said that these guys are stupid.  Ruthless, yes – stupid, no way!

The article mentions Canada.  I find this very interesting. I'm sure that there is a market share north of the border, but there may be something else at work here.  How about flooding the U.S. market from Canada?  Are the cartels already calculating that President Trump will build the wall or protect the border with more vigor?

Time will tell where all of this goes.  The cartels are in this to make money, and they will do whatever it takes to reach their consumers.  Unfortunately, too many of those consumers live in the U.S.

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