In Mexico, Opium now is a bigger cash crop than marijuana

Mexican soldiers destroy plants in a poppy field. (AP)
Mexican soldiers destroy plants in a poppy field. (AP)

By Sylvia Longmire / Breitbart News

The plants growing along an increasing number of Mexican hillsides reflect trends in illegal drug use in the United States. While marijuana fields easily outnumbered poppy plantations in prime Mexican growing regions, both government and international-agency statistics show those numbers have reversed as Mexican-origin heroin use in the US has exploded.

According to the Mexican daily Reforma, the leading marijuana production states in Mexico are Chihuahua, Guerrero, Jalisco, Durango, Sinaloa and Oaxaca. Between 2007-2010, the Mexican army discovered 432,561 marijuana fields in these areas.

But that number plummeted by 56 percent between 2011-2014, as soldiers only found 187,056 marijuana plantations during that time frame. Mexico’s military department known as SEDENA indicated that opium poppies have been replacing marijuana plants in these states.

Shifts in illegal drug production by Mexican cartels tend to occur rather quickly in response to changes in demand from the US market. Unlike cocaine, which has to be brought into Mexico from other countries, heroin and marijuana can both be grown and processed internally. This allows cartels to dictate to their growers what kinds of plants they need to grow and in what quantities.

U.S. is 2nd largest Spanish-speaking country

The Guardian – The United States is now the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico, according to a new study published by the prestigious Instituto Cervantes.

The report says there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the US plus a further 11.6 million who are bilingual, mainly the children of Spanish-speaking immigrants. This puts the US ahead of Colombia (48 million) and Spain (46 million) and second only to Mexico (121 million).

Female boxer’s greatest fight – navigating border

Boxer Leslie HernandezFox News Latino – Leslie Hernandez’s dream came true when Mexico asked her to box for her native country in the 2016 Olympics. But she had been living in the U.S. illegally since she was a child and she couldn’t go back to Mexico without risking a dangerous and illegal crossing to return to her family north of the border.

With several people lobbying on her behalf, Hernandez finally obtained a visa from the U.S. to go back and practice with her teammates. But by the time she got it, several of the Mexican Olympic qualifying boxing tournaments had passed or been cancelled.

Today, she is working with Mexico to find new qualifying tournaments. But they will require new visas, and she’s not sure she can make all the requirements line up.

Palmilla resort restored after storm decimated it

Forbes – Thanks to an ambitious and masterful rebuilding after being virtually decimated last year by Hurricane Odile, Palmilla resort in Los Cabos is once again luring some of the world’s most discerning and sophisticated travelers.

Starwood to open luxury resort at Los Cabos

Zacks – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently broke ground on Solaz resorts at Los Cabos. The resort is scheduled to open in 2017. It will be Starwood’s first Luxury Collection hotel in Los Cabos and the brand’s seventh hotel in Mexico.

Inside the $650,000 tombs of Mexico’s notorious drug lords

Arturo Beltran Leyva’s castle-themed mausoleum features an alarm system, satellite television, two bedrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen.
Arturo Beltran Leyva’s castle-themed mausoleum features an alarm system, satellite television, two bedrooms and a fully-equipped kitchen.

By Alasdair Baverstock / Daily Mail

At the end of lives dedicated to violence, crime and the pursuit of wealth, Mexico’s most famous drug lords rest in peace in custom-built mausoleums: buildings which cost more than an average family home in the crime-ridden capital city of Sinaloa.

Gaudy and provocative even in death, the ‘narcos’ of Culiacan have built their own tombs, equipped with 24-hour air conditioning, wi-fi, bedrooms, kitchens, home cinemas and other comforts for their families who come to visit their remains.

Mexico’s largest and most powerful mafia, the Sinaloa Cartel, is based in the state capital Culiacan, and the town’s cemeteries tell the stories of the drug lords’ immense wealth.

Element to buy GE fleet management in Mexico, U.S.

Market Watch – Element Financial Corp. has entered into an agreement with GE to acquire GE Capital’s remaining North American fleet management operations in the US and Mexico, as well as GE Capital’s fleet management operations in Australia and New Zealand for an all-cash purchase price of $8.6 billion Canadian.