Canadian Gangs Enter Mexico's Drug War

By McCarton Ackerman 04/19/13

A report suggests Canadian mobsters have been working directly with the drug cartels.

A UN gang member busted by Canadian
police in 2009.
Photo via

Mexico's drug violence is not only infiltrating the US, but is also pushing its way up to our Northern neighbors, The Star reports. An RCMP internal report says that at least nine Canadians "with extensive criminal associations" were shot or killed in Mexico between 2008 and 2012. Most of the criminals came from British Columbia, but the report states that an Ontario group is also involved in Mexico's drug underworld. “The Canadian-related violence occurring in Mexico may represent a reverse order of events in which Canadian criminal disputes and retaliatory actions are making their way South,” states the report. “Additionally, that cartel influence is being exerted on Canadian criminal groups from within Mexico resulting in an imposed allegiance before returning Canadian operators to Canada.” Canadian crime groups are reportedly choosing to deal directly with the Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to eliminate the middleman and gain more profit for themselves. The report suggests that Mexican drug traffickers are more than willing to comply due to heavy US border surveillance. “This may be part of the attraction to Canadians involved in the illicit drug trade, who have for decades travelled to Mexico for pleasure and presumably as part of their criminal activities,” says the report. Among the Canadian deaths in Mexico were British Columbian gangster Thomas Gisby, who was killed in a Nuevo Vallarta Starbucks in April 2012, while Salih (Sal) Abdulaziz Sahbaz, considered a top member of the BC-based United Nations gang, was shot several times in the head and body near Mazatlan in January 2012.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.