- Title: MEXICO: Soldiers burn country's largest marijuana plantation
- Date: 16th July 2011
- Summary: ROSARIO, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO (JULY 15, 2011) (REUTERS) MEXICAN SOLDIERS DRIVING TO MARIJUANA PLANTATION EXTERIOR OF PLANTATION SOLDIERS AT THE PLANTATION SOLDIERS WALKING THROUGH PLANTATION SOLDIER TAKING PHOTO OF ANOTHER SOLDIER STANDING BY MARIJUANA PLANT SOLDIERS STANDING BY PLANTATION SOLDIER WALKING THROUGH PLANTATION SOLDIERS WALKING THROUGH PLANTATION GENERAL VIEW OF PLANTATION SOLDIERS UPROOTING PLANTS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARMY SPOKESMAN OF THE SECOND MILITARY REGION OF BAJA CALIFORNIA, MAJOR BERNANDO SANCHEZ SAYING: "In this case we are talking about a plantation of approximately 120 tonnes with a value of 1.8 million pesos." BURNING OF PLANTS SOLDIER PRODDING BURNING PLANTS PLANTS BEING SET ALIGHT SOLDIER GUARDING BURNING OPERATION FLAMES FROM BURNING PLANTS SOLDIERS GUARDING PLANTATION PERIMETER GENERAL VIEW OF BURNING OPERATION VARIOUS OF BURNING PLANTS SMOKE FROM BURNING PLANTS WITH MEDIA AND SOLDIERS NEARBY VARIOUS OF SOLDIER BURNING PLANTS SOLDIERS BY BURNING OPERATION MORE OF PLANTS ON FIRE SOLDIER OVERSEEING BURNING OPERATION MORE OF PLANTS ON FIRE SOLDIERS GUARDING PERIMETER OF PLANTATION WITH SMOKING PLANTS IN THE BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 31st July 2011 13:00
- Location: Mexico, Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Crime,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA9GGFXC3TW7NP352YDBE93UBTL
- Story Text: Less than 24 hours after uncovering the country's largest marijuana plantation, Mexican soldiers set alight 300 acres of marijuana on Friday (July 14) in a remote desert area surrounded by cactuses in the state of Baja California.
Soldiers guarded the perimeter of the multi-million dollar plantation and uprooted trees in preparation for the marijuana bonfire.
The massive field is reported to be 94 percent larger than the one destroyed in Cruz de Elota in Sinaloa on March 10, 2007 which measured 153 acres (62 hectares) and four times larger than the one found in Rancho de Bufalo in Chihuahua on November 8, 1984 with a street value of $160 million.
"In this case we are talking about a plantation of approximately 120 tonnes with a value of 1.8 million pesos," army spokesman of the Second Military Region of Baja California, Major Bernando Sanchez, said.
The elaborate plantation features a well dug at the barren site with water pumped through the massive farm to irrigate the plants, which were up to 8 feet tall (2.5 meters).
Mexico is America's top supplier of marijuana and most cocaine consumed in the United States passes through the country. Located 360 km (223 miles) from the notorious border town of Tijuana and just two kilometres from a highway connecting Baja California to its northern border, the crop was believed to be destined for the U.S. market.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of troops to the streets of the country to root out powerful traffickers shortly after taking office in late 2006.
Violence has spiraled since then, with more than 40,000 people killed across Mexico, hurting support for Calderon's conservative National Action Party (PAN), which faces an uphill struggle to secure reelection next July.
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