The gum is used to manufacture heroin, but in recent years crops have decreased in Mexico, as interest in the synthesis of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and heroin has rebounded.
Although some consider that it is a way of subsisting, the Army leads the destruction of poppy fields in actions against drug trafficking in the country, as was recorded in the Sierra de Durango, where the Sinaloa Cartel has established its stronghold for decades . .
Through videos broadcast on social networks, users showed their disagreements with the fumigation of crops in areas surrounding Tamazula, while capturing the operations of the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) when throwing chemicals from the air.
In one of the recordings it is observed that, while the helicopters approach the planting, radio frequency reports are heard from below. They allegedly report military interventions to what they consider to be months of effort.
Another video showed how the petals flew, while the aerial unit approached low to spray the crops. But in both cases the strategy of the soldiers is perceived: before starting the operation one of the helicopters goes ahead to clear the area or prevent any risk.
At the time of executing the fumigation, the vigilant unit stands higher or also chases its colleagues. From the ground you can see how scattered liquids fall. The Air Force unit turns around, crosses from one side to the other and descends as far as possible between the slopes of the mountain range.
“I have 600 liters of seed and six yoke of oxen to follow every time they touch me,” a man shouted at the soldiers, while a woman laughed, because they threw a couple of pyrotechnic explosives where they were flying.
Some criticized in comments that the efforts of peasants were being destroyed, who were forced to work in these activities due to lack of better opportunities in the local economy. Others suggested that with a bazooka or a 50 – caliber Barrett rifle they could take down the Sedena agents .
“Unfortunately they end up with the only way of subsisting for those families that live on the margins, forgotten about government programs and all kinds of social assistance,” said one of the users.
The flower is useful for producing heroin (Photo: Secretary of National Defense)
In mid-February 2022, the Armed Forces indicated that 1,466 hectares of poppy had been eradicated in 2022 alone. In July of last year, it was reported that poppy cultivation in Mexico decreased for the third consecutive year in 2020 and with it, the potential production of heroin, which meant lower rates since 2014.
Currently, Sedena has reported that the drug cartels have shown an upturn in their interests in the synthesis of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and heroin. Well, in the criminal business, production costs are reduced and the manufacture of these narcotics is also faster.
According to reports from the civil association México Unidos Contra la Delincuencia, data from the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) show that, between 2003 and 2019, there was eradication of poppy plantations in 835 of the 2,465 municipalities of the country. But these destructions are heterogeneous, according to the organization.
The annual production cycle of this plant registers higher rates between January and May, with increased hectares in February, March and April, according to Sedena reports. Some areas of greater concentration are located in Culiacán, Sinaloa; San Pedro Quiatoni, Oaxaca; passing through the Nayar region, Nayarit; and Leonardo Bravo, Guerrero.