Nicaragua Destroys Marijuana Crops in Forest Reserve

By Dialogo
April 26, 2013

Nicaraguan Army troops destroyed over 15,000 illegal marihuana plants in the heart of the Bosawas biosphere reserve, the main one in Central America, according to the institution on April 24.

The crops were found by the Army’s Ecological Battalion in the thick forests of the San José Wasmalú community in the center of the reserve, located in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Orlando Palacios told AFP.

The officer said the crops, which had plants over five meters tall, were “burned up” after an operation was conducted in the area with the support of the Police on April 21. Two people were arrested, and it is presumed that they have been planting marijuana in the area for three years.

According to authorities, the drug would be commercialized in cities on the Nicaraguan Pacific, where there is higher demand.

The Ecological Battalion was created two years ago with 700 Soldiers dedicated to taking care of protected areas in the nation, mainly the Bosawas jungle, which in 1997 was declared Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

So far this year, authorities have destroyed over 63,000 marijuana plants only in Bosawas, located on a surface area 19,926 km2 wide to the northeast of Nicaragua.

In recent years the vast jungle, inhabited by Caribbean indigenous communities and considered as one of the “lungs” of the planet, has been a target of timber traffickers who chop down trees, as well as people planting marijuana crops.

Very interesting! But my question now is: could this "forest" fire also be used to destroy coca crops??