Deadly toxins: Mexican cartels poison US national parks for years
According to a new report published by 12 on November, members of the Mexican cartel for years conducted large-scale covert operations to grow marijuana in national parks in California, using illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, and thereby poisoning water and wildlife.
Two Mexican citizens, suspected cartel members, were arrested in September during a raid for illegal operations with marijuana, hidden under thick canopies of trees in the California Shasta Trinity National Forest, writes Fox News. Authorities discovered 8656 marijuana bushes and 232 pounds (105 kg) of treated grass.
About 3000 pounds (1360 kg) of garbage, including discarded clothing, propane containers and used insecticide cans, in addition to three miles (almost 5 km) of plastic irrigation pipes and open fertilizer bags, were also found on site. This gives reason to assume that the cultivation, as well as environmental pollution, was carried out for many years.
“The real crime here is that they kill American lands, kill wildlife, and poison our water,” said Kevin Mayer, special agent for law enforcement in the US Forest Service. “This is something that cannot restore itself.”
In the past, California's national parks have already suffered from illegal marijuana cultivation activities, some of which were carried out by hippies. But cartel operations are generally more extensive, well organized and use heavy, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their crops from rodents and insects.
Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called to inspect the marijuana cultivation site after the September raid, said she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran on the spot. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, the European Union, Canada and Brazil for any legal purpose. It is manufactured in the USA by the FMC Corporation in Pennsylvania and exported to Mexico, India and other countries.
“It's incredibly toxic,” Wengert said. - A quarter teaspoon can kill an 600-pound (more than 270 kg) black bear. Therefore, it is obvious that only a small amount can kill a person. The substance remains in the ecosystem for a long period of time. "
An expert has discovered these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can be fatal to humans and wildlife.
The California coalition, which includes environmentalists, law enforcement officials, politicians, wildlife ecologists, and the legal cannabis industry, has joined forces to eliminate pollution from illegal cartel operations.
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