20 | ENE | 2019
Photo: Special

Mexico uncovers 15-hectare drug field in Sinaloa

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The field is located in Mexico's so-called Golden Triangle of historically heavy drugs production in which the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán has exercised control

The Mexican army has uncovered a 15-hectare field devoted to marijuana and poppy cultivation in Mocorito, in the northwestern Mexico state of Sinaloa, officials announced on Saturday (February 4). The field is located in Mexico's so-called Golden Triangle of historically heavy drugs production in which the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán has exercised control. No arrests have yet to be made.

And about 120 kilometers (75 miles) away in Culiacán, Mexican soldiers got into a shootout with a yet to be identified band of delinquents on Friday (February 3). One soldier was injured in the incident and is recovering.

Mexico extradited its Guzmán to New York in January, likely ending a decades-long criminal career that included two jail breaks and a lead role in a national drug war, the day before Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency

The drugs discovery came about after a helicopter patrol mission of Mexico's air force. That was followed by a land operation.

Mexican military commander Ernesto Vadillo Trueba spoke to the media about the drugs.

"We have as well field of illegal narcotics with a 10 hectare-field of marijuana and 5-hectare field of poppy," he said.

Security forces were able to confirm the cultivation had a complicated infrastructure supporting it, including a tubing system. An opium lab was found close by.

The forces proceeded to burn the drugs.

After the shootout in Culiacán, the assailants fled the scene, leaving behind three vehicles, one of which was equipped to hold a machine gun. A cache of arms and gear were also found on the scene.

Authorities are still investigating the incident.

"At the moment, we haven't made any arrests. The operations are continuing. We don't have more information on names. It was all found during a patrol in that area. They were noticed by some cars in a gap there,

and they were shot at. (The injured officer) is in stable condition. He was injured in his left ankle. He's stable in a hospital," the spokesman for Sinaloa public security, Julio César Romanillo, said.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto last year proposed decriminalizing possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana for personal use, and said it would allow people jailed for holding up to that amount to go free.

But senators in his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) put the initiative on ice, saying it "requires a greater analysis," and only backed medical marijuana use.

Opinion polls show that while there is public support for medical marijuana use, Mexicans are still resistant to the idea of an outright liberalization of the drug for recreational ends.


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