Guatemala Has Destroyed 28.5 Million Poppy Plants This Year

By Dialogo
February 25, 2011

Guatemalan anti-narcotics forces have destroyed around 28.5 million poppy plants, the raw material for manufacturing heroin, in an area on the border with Mexico, the police announced on 23 February.

The eradication took place between 14 and 18 February in the municipalities of Tajumulco and Ixchiguan, in San Marcos, around 280 km northwest of the capital, on the border with Mexico, the police specified in a statement.

In contrast, the authorities only reported the seizure of 207 kilos of cocaine, including 90 kilos seized on the night of 22 February on the highway to the Pacific (in southern Guatemala), where two Guatemalans were detained.

The police also announced that 228 people have been detained in connection with drug trafficking, while thirty-one vehicles of various kinds and nineteen firearms have been seized so far this year, according to data from the Anti-narcotics Information Analysis Division (DAIA).

At the same time, the agency reported the seizure of 45 kilos of ephedrine and 83.79 kilos of pseudoephedrine, substances used to manufacture Ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, since January.

According to data from the U.S. embassy in Guatemala, the Central American country is the world’s sixth-largest producer of opium paste (derived from poppies) for the manufacture of morphine and heroin.