By Marion Ali, Staff Reporter
Three of Mexico’s biggest drug trafficking organizations have moved 90 percent of their cocaine trafficking operations to Central America, indicates a new UN report.
Two of the groups, the Pacific Cartel (an alliance of the Sinaloa Cartel and the Gulf Cartel) and the Zetas, have moved 90 percent of their US-bound cocaine trafficking operations to Central America, because of the aggressive strategy towards organized crime. They have also fought to control plazas to Central America, making Mexican organized crime the main criminal problem in the region.
Belize is considered the Zetas’ zone of operation. In El Salvador, the principal drug trafficking organization is the Pacific Cartel, which also operates in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Since the 2009 coup in Honduras, the country has been used by both groups as a port of arrival for drugs from Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
The report “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean”, published by the United Nations (UN) at the end of 2014, states: “After 2006, the year that the Mexican government implemented its new national security strategy, it became more hazardous for traffickers to ship the drug directly to Mexico, and so an increasing share of drug shipments began to transit through Central America,” and would later enter Mexican territory through land entry points.
As a result, according to the UN, Guatemalan territory is now disputed by both Mexican criminal groups, via four local gangs.