By “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat

The Mexican Military recently captured the largest methamphetamine lab in Mexico’s history in Angostura, Sinaloa, reported newspaper Milenio. This capture comes one week after another major drug lab bust and a methamphetamine seizure in the countryside surrounding Culiacán.

The article reports that the tarp tent-covered narco lab spans 3 hectares squared, and was hidden in Rafael Buelna, a region in the municipality of Angostura, to the west of CuliacánAccording to Milenio, this lab had the capacity to produce 3 tons of methamphetamine daily, a figure based on the 36 Chemical Synthesis Reactors found at the site.

The date of this seizure is not reported.

Just five days earlier, on February 17, the Army found 1,380 liquid liters and 483 solid kilograms of methamphetamine in this same municipality.

Before that, on February 14, the Mexican army seized a large methamphetamine and fentanyl producing drug lab in Pueblos Unidos, a small town to the south of Culiacán. This lab likely belonged to the Mayo faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, based on their control of the municipality. 

The Context

Citing military figures, Milenio reported that 1071 out of 1206, or 88% of synthetic drug labs found in Mexico during the López Obrador administration have been found in the state of Sinaloa, highlighting the role of the Sinaloa Cartel in the synthetic drug crisis.

Decreasing fentanyl production and traffic into the United States is a top priority for the US government. Recently, US DEA director Anne Milgram expressed that the DEA is unhappy with the inadequate cooperation with the Mexican government.

The state of Sinaloa is firmly under control of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is split into two factions, one led by the sons of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, commonly called “Los Chapitos”, and the other led by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. This particular area, around the municipality of Angostura, is controlled by Los Chapitos.

This first part of this article relies heavily on reporting by Amílcar Salazar Méndez for Milenio.

Sources: Milenio, Borderland Beat Archives (2/14) Borderland Beat Archives via Noroeste(2/17)