Vancouver is making its mark as a major export centre in at least one area — international drug trafficking.
‘Drug Portal to the Pacific,’ an InSight Crime report on the rise of the Jalisco Cartel called the city.
|Cartel's 2015 ambush that killed 15 police officers|
“The key to their rapid expansion has been the strategic presence of operations on the southeast border of the United States, next to Tijuana, and the northeast border, next to Vancouver, Canada,” the report said.
The role of Mexican Cartels in Canada isn’t new. In 2015 the Vancouver Sun’s Kim Bolan wrote about the cartels’ increasing shift to having their own people on the ground in Canada, rather than dealing with Canadian intermediaries.
But the new report by Luis Alonso Pérez (originally done for Animal Politico a Mexican online publication) sets out how important Vancouver has been allowing the once-small Jalisco Cartel become “one of the most prolific and violent drug trafficking organizations in the world.”
It’s not just that Vancouver is a good place to land drugs destined for the U.S. and Canada. It’s become the transshipment point for drugs bound for the Pacific Rim, the article says.
The Jalisco ‘New Generation’ Cartel is a formidable player — combining business smarts, bribery and intimidation - it shot down a military helicopter - and over-the-top violence, including mass murders. Last month, police blamed the cartel for 12 murders in Manzanillo, including seven people found decapitated in a taxi.
I started following InSight Crime after we moved to Honduras. It was almost the equivalent of a newspaper’s business pages in shedding light on the economy and politics of that country and its neighbours. I’ve found it consistently credible and useful over the last five years.
It’s also a journalistic success story. In 2010, two journalists launched the project with foundation funding. The focus was on crime in Latin America, from drugs to urban gangs to corruption and impunity. It’s going strong, in English and Spanish, with a broad funding base — including the Canadian government.