Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

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Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

canadiana
Administrator
Mexico army fights surge in violence for control of poppy country
   
Reuters

By Lizbeth Diaz and Michael O'Boyle

2 hrs ago
 
1/14 SLIDES © REUTERS/Henry  

The Mexican army says its fight against surging opium production that feeds U.S demand is increasingly complicated by the rise of smaller gangs disputing wild, ungoverned lands planted with ever-stronger poppy strains.

The gangs have engulfed the state of Guerrero in a war to control poppy fields, turning inaccessible mountain valleys of endemic poverty and famous beach resorts into Mexico's bloodiest spots.

Colonel Isaac Aaron Jesus Garcia, who runs a base in one of the state’s most unruly cities, Ciudad Altamirano, told Reuters on an operation to chop down poppies high in the Guerrero mountains that violence increased two years ago when a third gang, Los Viagra, began a grab for territory.

Bodies are discovered almost daily across the state, tossed by roads, some buried in mass graves. In Ciudad Altamirano, the mayor was killed last year and a journalist gunned down in March at a car wash.

"These fractures (in the gangs) started two years ago, and that caused this violence that is all about monopolizing the production of the drug," Jesus Garcia said.

From this frontline of the fight against heroin, Jesus Garcia sees a direct link between a record U.S. heroin epidemic that killed nearly 13,000 people in 2015 and violence on his patch.

"The increase of consumers for this type of drug in the United States has been exponential and the collateral effect is seen here," Jesus Garcia said.

Heroin use in the United States has risen five-fold in the past decade and addiction has more than tripled, with the biggest jumps among whites and men with low incomes.

Jesus Garcia said the task of seeking out poppy fields in one of Mexico's poorest and least accessible regions, rising above the beach resorts of Acapulco and Ixtapa, was practically endless.

His 34th Battalion and others send platoons of troops on foot for month-long expeditions every season. They set up camps and fan through treacherous terrain, part of a campaign that destroys tens of thousands of fields a year.

One such field visited by Reuters was deep in a lawless region six hours from Ciudad Altamirano through winding dirt roads thick with dust that rose into the mountains.

It was irrigated by a lawn sprinkler mounted on a pole that spritzed water over less than a hectare of poppies and fertilizer bags were piled nearby, basic farming techniques the soldiers nevertheless said were a sign of growers' new sophistication.

A dozen troops fanned out, chopping down the flowers with machetes.

HIGHER YIELDS

Army officials said gangs use poppy varieties that produce higher yields and more potent opium from smaller plots, and that its higher value is driving violent competition between gangs.

"Now we see more production of poppy in less terrain, and it has to do with the quantity of bulbs each plant has,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jose Urzua as he showed bulbs oozing valuable gum from slits. He explained opium is often harvested by families.

In these tiny mountain hamlets opium has grown for decades, officials said, but a coffee plague and the U.S. opiate epidemic has led farmers to plant much more.

The harvest has become central to Guerrero's economy, also dependent on cash sent home by immigrants.

One army official said the field seen by Reuters could produce around 3 kilos (6.6 lb) of opium, fetching up to $950 per kilo from traffickers who sell it for up to $8,000.

"There aren’t many alternatives here," said a woman selling soft drinks and snacks from a pine shack by a dirt road. Her husband grows poppies, and she said anyone who runs a business faces extortion by gangs.

(Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and

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The Guardian MSN

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/mexico-army-fights-surge-in-violence-for-control-of-poppy-country/ar-BBATffO?li=AAggv0m&ocid=iehp
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

canadiana
Administrator
This post was updated on .
People do say that the Americans consuming the drugs have no idea how many people died for them to get their drugs (like an addict cares)south of the border but do the poor Mexican farmers who grow the poppies in the bush have any awareness of the consequences of the poppies they grow that cause social decay,divorces,numerous thefts and scams,parental neglect,even deaths and family breakups north of the border?I highly doubt it up in the mountains but maybe now some Mexicans do have awareness as drugs are being consumed vigorously in their own society and the problems are coming to light.It would be good to have awareness of the other on both sides of the border but not going to happen as long as the addicts are desperate for their fix and poor Mexican poppy growers are desperate to survive.Now that the genie is out of the bottle in Mexico (drug addiction) it will never go back in the bottle nor go back to the way it was more than 10 years ago..
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

ElGuapoReale
In reply to this post by canadiana
Can't say this comes as a real big surprise. After all the trouble the U.S. went to, to salvage heroin production in Afghanistan, they're hardly gonna let the Mexicanos roll in and steal their market share.
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

Chava
In reply to this post by canadiana


In Acapulco.....
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

canadiana
Administrator
So does anyone think this is a move on CJNG's part to move in or overtake Guerrero or a fake manta teasing a rival?There are many groups operating there so...........if this is true and you think it's a bloodbath now and couldn't get any worse well don't hold your breath.Lots more is going to happen!
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

Alexander
Guerrero is owned by many unscrupulous politicians, It's pay to play just like any other state in Mexico.Most narcos are just puppets on the strings of the corrupt government.
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

canadiana
Administrator
Think you might be right Alexander on that last sentence and if that's the case that the politicos pull the narco's strings and they pay to play well there's so many players,I guess they are all paying to play.That's so much more for the politicos $$ (collect from 4 groups not just 1) but a smaller slice of the pie for too many narcos and I'm sure that's what is causing a lot of the violence.The politicos probably think well let them kill each other then when weakened yet another group emerges so it's pay to play time again......and again.....and again. Really then who has most of the money when you really think about it?The narcos have lots of operating expenses like bribes,sicarios,other staff,logistics,vehicles,etc but what expenses do the politicos have?None it's pure profit!...BTW welcome to Borderland Beat!
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

Alexander
Thanks for the welcome canadiana, interesting site to say the least.I have a theory that the government, and thier politicians in tangled with "legitimate" businesses make just as much if not more than narcotics, possibly alot more.Sicarios, especially teenagers are like the ant and Zambada is of course the elephant, and the goverment is no different as they have to pay up the latter to stay in business, and for protection, especially when their partners flip on them like ex governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte who payed millions to the higher up's in the D.F to operate for years.If it wasn't for that corrupt system he would never had made it close to being governor, and would of been arrested when he first got to Guatemala, if he was lucky enough to make it out the country.Just like the saying goes "there is no honor among thieves".
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

dcm90
In reply to this post by canadiana
canadiana wrote
People do say that the Americans consuming the drugs have no idea how many people died for them to get their drugs (like an addict cares)south of the border but do the poor Mexican farmers who grow the poppies in the bush have any awareness of the consequences of the poppies they grow that cause social decay,divorces,numerous thefts and scams,parental neglect,even deaths and family breakups north of the border?I highly doubt it up in the mountains but maybe now some Mexicans do have awareness as drugs are being consumed vigorously in their own society and the problems are coming to light.It would be good to have awareness of the other on both sides of the border but not going to happen as long as the addicts are desperate for their fix and poor Mexican poppy growers are desperate to survive.Now that the genie is out of the bottle in Mexico (drug addiction) it will never go back in the bottle nor go back to the way it was more than 10 years ago..
Nobody puts a gun to an addict and tells him to consume drugs. This is all the government fault for creating a black market and forcing drug addicts to become criminals or social outcasts.  100 years ago you could buy ounces of morphine or cocaine at your local pharmacy.  "addiction" wasn't necessarily a problem because "addicts" could afford their drugs. Really heroin is no worse than alcohol, at least sleepers don't beat up the wife and rape the daughter,etc like socially accepted alcoholics do.

And no, there's no "hard" drugs being consumed in mexico (besides border towns) no heroin users in cities like CDMX, Monterrey or GDL. At most people do cocaine, MDMA and weed that's it.
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Re: Military destroying poppy fields in Guerrero

dcm90
In reply to this post by ElGuapoReale
ElGuapoReale wrote
Can't say this comes as a real big surprise. After all the trouble the U.S. went to, to salvage heroin production in Afghanistan, they're hardly gonna let the Mexicanos roll in and steal their market share.
Ehm mexican heroin has been in the US market since the 50s... afghsanistan heroin is probably just limited to very specific cities in the east coast, and most now comes from places like puerto rico .
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