Army discovers largest marijuana plantation ever in Mexico

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(14 Jul 2011)
1. Various aerials of marijuana field in desert area
2. Wide shot field, shacks, helicopter coming in to land
3. Mid shot soldier, marijuana plants
4. Marihuana plant blowing in the wind
5. Wide shot rows of marijuana plants under screen cloth
6. Wide shot rows of marijuana plants covered under screen cloth, soldiers carrying object
7. Wide shot field, mountains
8. Mid shot plants under screen cloth
9. Mid shot plants
10. Close shot of the plants
11. Tracking shot of irrigation pipe
12. Tracking shot of rows of marijuana plants
13. Tracking of marijuana field, investigators surveying area
14. Wide shot rows of marijuana plants under screen cloth
STORYLINE
Mexican soldiers found the largest marijuana plantation ever detected in Mexico, a huge field covering almost 300 acres (120
hectares), the Defence Department said Thursday.
The plantation is four times larger than the second biggest marijuana fields ever found by authorities, discovered at a ranch in northern Chihuahua state in 1984.
The pot plants sheltered under black screen-cloth in a huge square on the floor of the Baja California desert, more than 150 miles (250 kilometres) south of the US border.
Video of the plantation showed a sophisticated system of piped-in irrigation to support the plants, some of which were several feet tall.
The plantation also included some wooden outbuildings, presumably for use by people caring for the plants.
The fields were found by soldiers during a patrol on Tuesday, officials said.
They did not specify where they were found, but said journalists would be taken to Baja California state to view them.
Soldiers usually destroy such fields by cutting down the plants and burning them.
While there is debate on how much of Mexican drug cartels’ income still comes from marijuana, recent discoveries, like the plantation found Tuesday, suggest it remains a large-scale trade.
In November, US and Mexican investigators found two long, sophisticated tunnels under the border between Baja California and California, along with more than 40 tons of marijuana.
The tunnels ran around 2,000 feet from Mexico to San Diego and were equipped with lighting, ventilation, and a rail system for drugs to be carried on a small cart.
US officials have said those tunnels are believed to be the work of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, headed by that country’s most-wanted drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
It was unclear which cartel, if any, operated the plantation found Tuesday.

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