Mexico's Secret Drug Museum

Museum for the military tells the story of Mexico's drug war
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2008 11:39 AM CDT
Two Mexican musicians perform inside the chapel of Saint Jesus Malverde, an 18th-century bandit turned into the "saint of the drug dealers" by the people.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Mexico City's least-known museum may be one of its most interesting, Newsweek reports. The city's Narcotics Museum chronicles drug use in Mexico from the days of the Aztecs to the ruthless heroin-smuggling narcotraficantes of today. Exhibits include bling and heavy weaponry confiscated from drug lords. A visit is essential training for cadets in Mexico's counternarcotics force.

The museum serves to give the Mexican military an insight into the minds of drug traffickers. A plaque outside honors the 557 soldiers who have died on duty since the military started fighting drugs in 1976. The Narcotics Museum doesn't make it into tourist guidebooks—with plenty of displays detailing ingenious ways of smuggling drugs, authorities are keeping the museum strictly off-limits to the public.