Latin America: Week in Review, Mexico, North America

Mexico Discovers Huge Marijuana Farm In Baja California; Draws Comparison Drawn to “El Bufalo” Farm

July 15, 2011 By Staff

A marijuana plant.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Mexican officials said Thursday that soldiers discovered one of the largest marijuana plantations ever found in the country in the state of Baja California. The 296-acre plantation is estimated to yield 120 metric tons and be worth an estimated $160 million, according to Mexico’s Defense Ministry. Located only about 200 miles from Mexico’s border with California, the plantation was supported by a piped-in irrigation system and shielded with a large black screen. Officials did not say whether anyone was arrested when the plantation was discovered. The Mexican army claimed the field was four times the size of a notorious bust in 1984 at a ranch called “El Bufalo” in the northern state of Chihuahua, but some experts countered that “El Bufalo” was much larger, with that field coming in at 1,344 acres, according to Mexican press reports. “There’s no comparison between the two busts—El Bufalo was far bigger,” said Alberto Islas, a security expert based in Mexico City.

Read More From The Wall Street Journal.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • A top Senate Democrat is close to ending his hold on $20 million that the administration had ticketed for a program to promote democracy in Communist Cuba.
  • A United Nations spokeswoman says the world body’s peacekeeping mission in Haiti has deployed troops to several slums in Port-au-Prince to crack down on gangs and criminals.

Central America


  • Venezuela will adopt a new law Thursday that will set price caps across some sectors of the economy, President Hugo Chávez said in a message on his Twitter account.
  • Colombia’s president says at least 12 people have been detained on suspicion they were involved in stealing funds from the national tax office. Five more are being sought.
  • Colombia’s state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol could raise nearly $3 billion with an expected share sale starting later this month, analysts surveyed by Reuters said on Thursday.
  • Four inmates who fled El Rodeo II prison before authorities regained control of the institution after a weeks-long mutiny died in a clash with police, Venezuela’s interior minister said.

Southern Cone

  • Chilean police arrested at least 64 protesters in Santiago on  Thursday as some 30,000 people convened in the capital to strike for national education reform.
  • Former Argentine general Hector Gamen and colonel Hugo Pascarelli were given life sentences Thursday for their participation in the torture and murder of thousands of political prisons at the notorious “El Vesubio” prison from 1976-1983.
  • Brazil’s human rights minister said special police forces would target child prostitution in advance of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Image: Dey @ Flickr.

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