Mexico City – Notorious Mexican narcotics trafficker Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is the main methamphetamine smuggler in the Asia-Pacific-Mexico-United States triangle; controls 80 percent of the U.S. drug market; and rakes in an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue, according to a new study.
His Sinaloa cartel "is an authentic global enterprise since both his markets and products exhibit a high degree of diversification," researcher Jose Luis Leon said in a report titled "Methamphetamine Traffic: Asia-Mexico-United States."
The analysis will be included in the 2012 Security and Defense Atlas of Mexico, which is to be presented next week.
The author said the cartel led by Mexico's most-wanted fugitive smuggles marijuana, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine to markets across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
He said that although some skeptics in Mexico question Chapo's inclusion on Forbes magazine's list of the world's wealthiest people, Rand Corporation figures indicate the drug trafficker "obtains revenues of at least $3 billion annually, comparable to those of Netflix or Facebook."
The author said the Sinaloa cartel imports huge quantities of drug-precursor chemicals from China, India and Thailand, adding that those substances arrive at Mexican Pacific or Guatemalan ports and are processed at clandestine laboratories in the states of Michoacán, Jalisco, Sinaloa and Sonora.