People have always been interested in stories of criminals. A unique Mexican museum tells the story of the country’s fight against drug cartels. The museum was first opened in 1985 and is located on the seventh floor of the Mexican Defense Ministry building.
Mexicans naturally do not want to glorify the criminals involved in drug trafficking. The Mexico City’s Drug Museum is however meant for military personnel and other officials to educate them about the ways drug traffickers work. Interestingly the exhibition is not open to the public.
The museum has ten rooms in which a visitor gets information about the global fight against drug trafficking as well as about the ingenious means criminals use to smuggle their goods across borders. Among the exhibits, there are e.g. vehicles with false compartments or the frame of a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which was stuffed with cocaine. Drugs were transported inside “human mules” as well as inside dead armadillos. Drug traffickers are very inventive, transporting the product in false-bottomed shoes or even in doughnuts. One room features a life-sized model of a farmer guarding his crops (you can imagine what kind of crops it was).
One room shows the narcoculture popularized in many Hollywood’s gangster movies. It displays guns, jewels, clothing, religious artifacts and other personal belongings of the criminals. There is for example a Colt 45 embellished with rubies and emeralds or a Colt 38 with a gold handle as well as a gold-plated AK47. Among other exhibits, there are also letters to the military threatening or asking them to leave the criminals alone.
Drug trafficking has been a serious problem in Mexico. Although President Felipe Calderón has launched an offensive against the drug cartels to solve the problem, the results have not been as good as expected. Last year alone, some 5,600 people died because of drugs-related crimes and according to recent estimates some 500,000 Mexicans are directly involved in the drug business.