Drug smugglers are getting more adventurous by the day.
Mexico has long been the drug trafficking route of choice into the USA.
This has bred terrible violence in Mexico. Drug cartels, such as the Sinaloa, have been battling over supply lines that has led to 1000’s of deaths. In one single attack 28 people were lined up against a wall and executed by a rival gang.
The US and Mexico blame each other for the problems while drugs flow North and guns flow South. All the while corruption runs rife in Mexico, fuelled by the massively lucrative trade.
President Calderon of Mexico has been engaged in a ferocious war with drug runners and has deployed thousands of troops and police in the battles. He wants the drug runners to be forced to use another route bypassing his country. But many people think that legalising drugs in the US would stop the trade in its tracks.
This Mexican action has forced the drug runners to retreat into Guatemala to keep the supply routes open. The price of drugs on the US streets is going up and purity is dropping, a sure sign of dwindling supplies.
But it is how the cartels are now delivering the drugs into Guatemala that shows how difficult it has become.
They are using specially built one shot submersibles to carry the cargoes to the coast. One has just been captured 175 miles off the coast. A very dangerous place for untrained crew in a veritable tomb. They also have to contend with the US Navy and the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS).
This may seem expensive and extremely risky. But consider the rewards. The submarine costs about Â£1m, but it can carry Â£200m worth of drugs. Worth a one in a lifetime throw of the dice for desperate people?