Photo: Port of Lazaro Cardenas
Federal authorities have taken control of Lazaro Cardenas, one of Mexico’s largest ports, and the navy will manage the facility, the federal government said.
The port of Lazaro Cardenas, located in the western state of Michoacan, is considered the main entry point for drugs and drug precursors bound for La Familia Michoacana, a cartel that has a strong presence in the area.
The Lazaro Cardenas Port Authority, a federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat agency, ran the port until Monday, when federal security forces moved in and took control of the port.
Army troops and the Federal Police will provide security at the port, while the navy will manage the facility and the port captaincy.
The port of Lazaro Cardenas is Mexico’s top port in terms of general cargo, No. 2 in container cargo and No. 3 in the value of merchandise handled, trailing only the Pacific port of Manzanillo and the Gulf port of Veracruz.
Federal security forces took control of the port to “restore peace, legality and security” in Michoacan, and to strengthen the rule of law and “the legality of commercial activities in Lazaro Cardenas,” Security Cabinet spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.
Mexico, which produces most of the crystal meth consumed in the United States, has imposed tight restrictions on the import of chemicals used to make illegal synthetic drugs.
Mexico’s drug cartels are the main suppliers of illegal stimulants to the U.S. market.
The U.S. drug market has seen declining demand for cocaine and a simultaneous rise in demand for synthetic drugs, officials and analysts say.
Synthetic drugs are favored by users for their more prolonged effect and because they come in tablet form and are therefore considered “socially cleaner.”