Drug car­tel gun­men kill Mex­i­can marine and wound two oth­ers near Mexico City

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Mex­i­can navy of­fi­cials said Tues­day that one marine was killed and two oth­ers wounded in an am­bush by drug car­tel gun­men in the State of Mexico, just west of Mexico City.

The am­bush, and the ear­lier dis­cov­ery of an opium poppy plan­ta­tion in a nearby town, sug­gested that drug car­tel vi­o­lence may be mov­ing ever closer to the na­tion’s cap­i­tal.

The marines were on pa­trol in the town­ship of Lu­vianos when gun­men opened fire on the troops in the main square of an out­ly­ing ham­let from the roof of a build­ing and from a mov­ing ve­hi­cle.

The two wounded marines are sta­ble con­di­tion.

While shootouts with po­lice are not un­com­mon in Mexico City, am­bushes of mil­i­tary pa­trols are rare so close to the cap­i­tal. The scene of the shootout was about 120 kilo­me­ters west of Mexico City.

Ear­lier, the navy said marines found and de­stroyed a 2.4- hectare opium poppy plan­ta­tion even closer to the cap­i­tal. The field was found in the State of Mexico about 80 kilo­me­ters from Mexico City, near the Ne­vado de

in Toluca vol­cano.

The navy said in a state­ment late Mon­day that it found the field over the week­end, af­ter re­ceiv­ing tips that a gang was guard­ing drug plots in the area. It said an es­ti­mated 221,000 poppy plants were de­stroyed in the raid.

Poppy plan­ta­tions in Mexico are usu­ally smaller plots lo­cated in the re­mote moun­tains of Guer­rero state in the south or the moun­tains of Chi­huahua, Si­naloa and Du­rango states in the north.

It is un­usual to find such a large plot so close to the cap­i­tal. The navy did not say what gang or drug car­tel was sus­pected of plant­ing the pop­pies, but said a camp­site was found nearby.

AP

In this March 4, 2010 file photo, a soldier stands on a poppy field, dur­ing erad­i­ca­tion su­per­vised by the Mex­i­can army on the out­skirts of More­lia, Mexico.

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