Mexican security forces seized at least 105 tonnes of US-bound marijuana in the border city of Tijuana in the biggest such operation in the country in recent years.
Soldiers and police grabbed the drugs in pre-dawn raids in three neighbourhoods after police arrested 11 people following a shoot-out, army General Alfonso Duarte Mujica said.
The marijuana was found wrapped in 10,000 packages, which were displayed to journalists by soldiers in masks. General Duarte said the drugs had an estimated street value in Mexico of 4.2bn pesos (£214m).
General Duarte said authorities were still counting and weighing the packages, and the amount could increase. He said the drugs – wrapped in different colours and labelled with apparently coded phrases and pictures – would be incinerated immediately after the weighing and counting is completed.
The raid began when Tijuana municipal police on patrol came under fire from gunmen in a convoy of vehicles, General Duarte said. One police officer and one suspect were injured. Police called the army and state police for reinforcements.
Although Mexican drug cartels smuggle marijuana from South America, the drug is increasingly produced in Mexico. Around 28,000 people have been killed in drug gang violence in the past four years.Reuse content