The Guatemalan security forces destroyed and incinerated almost 18,000 coca plants, the raw material for cocaine, in a plantation located in the department of Petén, in the north of the country and on the border with Mexico, the army reported this Saturday.
Army units, agents of the Public Ministry (Prosecutor’s Office) and the civil police participated in the operation, military spokesman Rubén Tellez told reporters.
The officer explained that the eradication and incineration of the coca leaf bushes was carried out in the El Pilar community, San Luis, Petén.
According to the corresponding authorities, the total destroyed amounts to 17,864 plants.
The first coca plantation and a laboratory to process it and transform it into cocaine in the history of this Central American country were located on May 26, 2018 in a mountainous area of the department of the city of Cobán, in the north of the country.
It was about 75,000 coca leaf bushes planted in 10,000 square meters, according to authorities.
Every year, the anti-narcotics police destroy thousands of marijuana and poppy plants (raw materials for making heroin and opium).
Hundreds of poor families in the west and north of Guatemala grow marijuana and poppies in the absence of jobs and other means of subsistence in the region.