Cartels Seek European Foothold

Published: 16 April 2013


Mexican drug cartels are increasingly looking to move onto the European mainland, according to a Europol press release on Friday.

 Groups like Los Zetas are responsible for human trafficking from Europe to Mexico, and weapons from Southeast Europe are transported by Mexican gangs for sale in South and Central America, the press release stated. The Sinaloa Cartel recently attempted to expand their wholesale cocaine business, but was thwarted by an intelligence operation, according to Europol.

Mexican organized crime groups have developed a “central role” in international crime, dominate the global cocaine market, and play a large role in the export of synthetic drugs to Europe and Asia, the press release said.

Europol’s latest threat notice on Mexican cartels also points to increased direct cooperation between organized crime groups, who now form “direct agreements” with producers, shippers and buyers, creating a global network which stretches from Mexico, to South America, Africa, and then to Europe.

The Mexican government reported that 4,249 deaths linked to organized crime had taken place between December 1 and April10, according to the New York Times. That number represented a decrease of 14 percent over the same period last year.

“We do not want the level of violence and brutality which we see in Mexico mirrored in Europe,” Europol director Rob Wainwright said in the press release.