The area covered by marijuana and opium poppy plantations that were destroyed by the military between January and May was the lowest in five years, government data shows.
Information provided to the newspaper Milenio by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) shows that the army destroyed 615.5 hectares of marijuana crops between January 1 and May 9, an average monthly eradication of 143.1 hectares.
The monthly average is 70% less than the area of marijuana plantations destroyed in the same period of 2014 and 33% less than that eradicated from January to May of last year.
Information supplied by Sedena also shows that Oaxaca has become a major marijuana-producing state.
In 2014, seven of the 10 municipalities where the largest areas of marijuana plantations were destroyed were located in the so-called Golden Triangle region of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango.
The other three municipalities in the top 10 were Álamos, Sonora; La Yesca, Nayarit; and Tequila, Jalisco.
In 2019, however, six of the 10 municipalities with the largest areas of plantations destroyed by the military were in Oaxaca. They were San Juan Lachigalla, San Carlos Yautepec, San Pedro Quiatoni, San Mateo Yacutindoo, Villa Sola de Vega and Santa Lucía Miahuatlán.
The other four municipalities in the top 10 this year were Badiraguato, Sinaloa; Tamazula, Durango; Guadalupe y Calvo, Chihuahua – which took out the top three spots; and Guachochi, Chihuahua.
In 2018, the military destroyed 774 hectares of marijuana in Sinaloa, 668 hectares in Oaxaca, 432 hectares in Durango and 408 hectares in Chihuahua. Almost 90% of all marijuana crops eradicated last year were located in those four states.
But the bigger crop is the opium poppy.
Sedena data shows that the military destroyed 6,704 hectares of poppy crops between January 1 and May 9, more than 10 times greater than the area in which marijuana plantations were destroyed.
However, the monthly eradication average of 1,559 hectares was the lowest in the past five years.
In the same period of 2014, the military destroyed an average of 1,804 hectares of opium poppies per month, 16% more than this year.
Over the past five years, the military has eradicated large areas of poppy plantations in the mountains of Guerrero and the Golden Triangle region.
In 2018, the army destroyed 7,495 hectares of the plant in Guerrero, 5,740 hectares in Durango and 4,917 hectares in Chihuahua.
Source: Milenio (sp)