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Drug trafficking through Quintana Roo is not new, but more frequent in recent years.
Quintana Roo, along with Cuba, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala form the so-called Caribbean Route, which has been used for three years to traffic with large quantities of drugs that arrive in Mexico through aircraft or speedboats in their passage to the United States.
On January 27, 2001, the magazine Process published an intelligence report under the title of “The Narcos masters of the Caribbean and the Yucatan Channel” on the routes used by the cartels of Colombia to supply the Mexican drug clans who were responsible for supplying the United States.
In that report, from 19 years ago, Quintana Roo appeared as one of the main destinations of the Colombian drug. In particular Cozumel, Tulum and Banco Chinchorro, were the preferred destinations of the Eduardoño boats – Colombian-made – in their passage through the State and on their way to the United States.
The estimates at that time of the Secretary of the Navy, was that a Eduardoño-type boat had the capacity to transport up to 3 tons of cocaine. Equipped with two Yamaha 250 horsepower engines, the route between Colombia and Quintana Roo – any of its three destinations – could be covered in a time of 50 hours, yes two days.
Mostly the boats end up abandoned in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, once the cargo was unloaded. Sometimes they ended up in the hands of the Mexican Navy but at other times in the hands of fishermen.
The intelligence report that the Process Magazine announced at the time, pointed out that all the Colombian vessels that were used in the transfer were covered with a blue canvas, blue stripes and even the drums were camouflaged with this technique, because With these characteristics it was difficult to detect them from the air, by the Mexican Air Force aircraft patrolling the coasts of Quintana Roo.
In July 2019, in a report made jointly between El País and El Faro named “El Caribe Turbio , drug trafficking was documented in the Caribbean Sea, between Mexico and Belize, specifically on the coasts of the community of Xcalak, where according to the report, local authorities are linked to cocaine trafficking from Central America and which is introduced to Mexico, through from that area of the municipality of Othón P. Blanco, Quintana Roo, which showed that the Caribbean sea route was still active.
General Miguel Ángel Huerta Ceballos who was commander of the XXXIV Military Zone based in Quintana Roo from December 2017 to November 2019, acknowledged that the Comprehensive Air Surveillance System, detected up to three daily flights of aircraft entering illegally at airspace, but they did not land in Mexico.
In that interview, from February 2019, he explained that Quintana Roo was the natural route of the flights that departed from central and South America which had as final destination the United States, mainly the coast of Miami, in Florida.
Three decades ago, one of the most important assurances that the Federal Government forces managed to advise the drug cartels was the arrest of Ofelia Fonseca Nuñez, daughter of drug trafficker Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo “Don Neto” – a very popular name today and that refreshed in memory of the Mexicans through a series Narcos produced by Netflix – who was caught on January 24, 1999, on a road that connects the towns of El Sinai with Miguel Alemán, in the south of Quintana Roo, today territory of the municipality of Bacalar.
Ofelia was arrested along with her husband, Manuel Padiena Sánchez and Colombian Alberto Londoño Uribe, in the aircraft 445 kilograms of cocaine were found and after 18 months of process, the three were sentenced to spend 16 years in prison. Fonseca Núñez regained his freedom in 2009 by accessing various benefits such as pre-release.
In 2005, a Turbo Commander plane with an N-572-L license plate crashed between El Gallito and Otilio Montaño, among the remains were 219 packages of cocaine, which gave a weight of one ton and 377 kilograms. At the accident site, three bodies were found, and identifications in the name of Roberto Cedeño Guzman of Mexican nationality, Andrés Giraldo Monsal and Jorge Enrique Garcés Ranco of Colombian nationality.
After that failed landing, the transit of aircraft through Quintana Roo decreased dramatically, although not in Belize and Guatemala, where sightings of suspicious aircraft and their landing were constant, mainly very close to the border with Mexico .
On December 23, 2013, during a routine flight of the Mexican Air Force, from the air it was seen in a dismantled area in the community of El Gallito, which had the shape and extension of a runway for clandestine landings.
Mexican Army personnel came to the place, and found fuel drums in a cabin next to the alleged narcopist, as well as construction machinery. The authorities never reported if the track had been used or was being prepared to receive drugs.
The track was destroyed by military personnel, they left it unusable by making trenches every five meters, to prevent any landing.
Five years later, in 2018, once again the sighting and landing of aircraft intensified, but on Belizean soil, mainly in Blue Creek, very close to the Mexican town of La Unión, they were constant. In that year at least 10 reports were counted, all with similar characteristics, some cases in which the aircraft descended, unloaded and left and others in which they were burned.
In Mexico, landings were recorded on roads and highways in Miguel Alemán, where there is a Mennonite settlement, Maya Balam, a former refugee camp, Ramonal on the Ribera del Río Hondo, and recently, in December last year, they intended to use the Calderitas-Luis Echeverría highway, to lower an aircraft.
In the 2019 landings, in Ramonal and Maya Balam, the authorities failed to arrest or seize the product.
This week there were two secured aircraft, one on the Vía Corta road to Merida, which communicates Chetumal with the Yucatecan capital and another in Mahahual, whose flight route was Argentina-Cozumel, but when detected by the Mexican Air Force it was seen forced to descend on the Costa Maya.
It is a fact, that in recent years, the Caribbean Route has been reactivated for the transfer of drugs to the north of the continent.
Source: el punto sobre la i