REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican army has seized 15 tons of pure methamphetamine, an amount so large that it is forcing authorities to reconsider this country's role in the production and transport of the highly addictive drug (link in Spanish).
The drugs, said to be worth $4 billion, were stuffed in barrels on a farm outside Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara. The army said in a statement that a major meth production lab appeared to be involved (link in Spanish).
"This is a historic seizure," Gen. Gilberto Hernandez Andreu, military commander of the region, said.
Mexico's largest-ever seizure of meth is equivalent to half of all seizures worldwide two years ago.
The army did not say which cartel probably owned the drugs, but the location and size suggested Mexico's most powerful Sinaloa cartel. Meth production and export used to be the purview of the La Familia drug gang in western Michoacan state, but the Sinaloa group has moved into the trade and expanded it.
-- Tracy Wilkinson
Photo: A Mexican soldier stands guard Thursday over barrels of methamphetamine and other chemicals found on a farm. Credit: Ulises Ruiz Basurto / EPA