Sunday, July 20, 2008

In the Mexican drug war, the narcos now have a Navy...

In an odd story, it seem the Mexican Navy has seized a submarine full of cocaine.

The Mexican military, working with information from U.S. intelligence services, found nearly six tons of cocaine in a makeshift submarine seized this week off the Pacific coast.

The 10-metre-long, green fiberglass craft was designed to travel just beneath the water, leaving almost no wake.

It was one of Mexico's largest maritime drug seizures and the first time the country has seen drug smugglers using a submarine, the navy said.

Which would seem to indicate the smugglers are trying to avoid the authorities. However, it's not like they're not taking on the authorities directly.

Some 1,700 people have been killed in drug gang violence in Mexico so far this year, and Calderon's frontal assault has failed to stop attacks on police and soldiers.

Drug hitmen shot and killed a policeman in his office in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez Friday, the first time gunmen have penetrated a police building to murder an official in the city, police said.

It's also not the first time a submarine has been in service to drug smugglers. This story from the BBC is from 2000:

olice in Colombia say they have found a half-built submarine in a warehouse in a suburb of the capital Bogota.

Police chief General Luis Ernesto Gilibert said Russian documents were found alongside the partially-completed vessel.

He said the 30 metre (100ft) vessel would have been capable of carrying huge quantities of cocaine or heroin.

He speculated that, once completed, the submarine would have been disassembled and taken by lorry to to Colombia's Pacific or Caribbean coast.

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