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Up in smoke in Mexico

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A five-day military operation targeting marijuana growers in the central Mexican state of Jalisco continued on Thursday (September 27). On Thursday alone, soldiers discovered over two tons of marijuana hidden in three abandoned ranches. Some of the marijuana plants discovered by the army were hidden among agave plants to thwart aerial detection efforts. Among the areas where the marijuana was discovered was the municipality of Tequila, known as the birthplace of the drink that bears its name. Approximately 500 Mexican military personnel are currently participating in the operation. Mexico is one of the world's top drug producers. According to analysts, marijuana and home-grown synthetic drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines together generate more than $10 billion (USD) in exports for the cartels every year. Nationally, drug violence has killed more than 55,000 people since Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched an army-led crackdown on drug cartels and organized crime after taking office in late 2006.

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