Cross-border methamphetamine trade booms amid Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’

The number of methamphetamine “super labs” seized by Mexican authorities has rocketed in the last five years but shipments of the drug across the border have also continued to grow, according to government statistics.

The increase highlights how Mexico’s cartels have diversified beyond their traditional focus of exporting cocaine, heroin and marijuana by transforming their operations to also make methamphetamines on an industrial scale.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has noted “a sustained upward trend in Mexican methamphetamine availability in U.S. markets.” Research by the U.S. government also shows that methamphetamine prices are falling and that the purity level of seizures is rising.

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About fbrinleybruton

F. Brinley Bruton has been a journalist for 15, and worked in Kabul, Mexico City, Philadelphia, and New York City. Now based in London, she is a editor, producer and senior writer at NBCNews.com, a leader in breaking news and original journalism online that gets over a billion page views a month. Before joining MSNBC.com -- which became NBCNews.com in 2012 -- Brinley wrote about security, business and finance, international development and women’s issues. She has worked at Reuters in London and New York, and her pieces have appeared in the New Statesman, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Long Island Newsday, The Star-Ledger, and Arabies Trends, among others. She also wrote and blogged for AlertNet, Reuters’ humanitarian news website.
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