Guatemalan Police Destroy $400 Million in Opium Poppies
GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan police concluded on Friday a major operation to destroy 262 hectares (647 acres) of opium poppies in the western province of San Marcos.
The poppies were planted on hillsides and in residential areas of the municipalities of Tajumulco and Ixchiguan, the PNC national police force said in a statement.
Authorities estimated the street value of the heroin that could have been produced from the destroyed poppies at $434.5 million.
More than 200 PNC officers took part in the four-day operation, which had support from the Guatemalan army and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Drug traffickers from neighboring Mexico have turned San Marcos into a center of poppy cultivation, the PNC says.
Guatemalan security forces have destroyed more than $1.3 billion worth of opium poppies in San Marcos so far this year, according to officials.