AP NEWS

2nd cocaine flight in 2 days lands in Mexico coastal state

January 29, 2020 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican officials seized a small plane carrying cocaine from South America on Tuesday, the second such flight detected in two days, authorities said.

Both planes landed in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo.

The Defense Department said the latest flight originated in Argentina and was detected as it approached Mexico.

The pilot was persuaded to land in the beach town of Mahahual when he saw Mexican air force planes tailing him. A metric ton of cocaine was found inside the craft, and two Bolivians who were flying the plane were detained, officials said.

On Monday, one soldier was killed and a general wounded when traffickers opened fire on a military patrol that sought to intercept a drug plane when it landed on a road farther north on the coast.

The flights show the brazenness of drug cartels that are flying increasing amounts of cocaine in from South America.

While violence in Quintana Roo, which is home to the resort city of Cancun, has declined somewhat from the high levels of 2018, there was an uptick in Cancun over the weekend. Prosecutors reported six killings, including three men shot dead on a dirt road in a low-income neighborhood.

State prosecutor Óscar Montes de Oca suggested the killings were drug-related, saying they “are the product of the fight against crime and infighting among gangs.”