Guatemala Destroys Millions of Poppy and Marijuana Crops

By Dialogo
February 08, 2013



Guatemalan security forces destroyed about 855 million poppy and marihuana
plants in a large operation carried out in the so called “opium triangle,” in the
western district of San Marcos, near the Mexican border, the Ministry of Interior
informed.



“Operations were performed in 1,316 fields in 21 points of eradication, where
over 852 million poppy and marihuana plants were destroyed,” Minister of Interior
Mauricio López stated on the ministry’s website on February 6.



López explained that “the first phase of poppy and marihuana eradication took
place from January 28 to 31 in the so called “opium triangle,” in the municipalities
of Sibinal, Ixchiguán and Tajmulco in San Marcos, located 350 km west of the
capital.



The operation was carried out by 300 police agents and 200 Army members; 190
hectares of illicit crops were destroyed, exceeding the 338 million poppy plants
eradicated in 2012, he specified.



“We have been able to duplicate the results obtained last year, and we expect
to surpass the numbers with the second phase of eradication,” he added, without
specifying the date of said operation.



The minister said that the plantations were hidden among legume and corn
crops, and that during the operation “four different types of poppy plants were
identified.”



A report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
considers poppy crops – raw material for opium – as a growing problem in
Guatemala.



The document indicates that the eradication only represents 10 percent of the
crops, which could suggest a total area of 15,000 hectares, considering that over
1,500 hectares were destroyed in 2011.






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