Mexico finds avocado plantation cut into nature reserve

MEXICO CITY (AP) " Mexican police say a 91-acre (37-hectare) swath of pine trees has been cut down in a nature reserve west of Mexico City to plant avocado trees.

Mexico's lucrative avocado trade has been blamed for a wave of deforestation in Michoacan and Mexico states.

The nature reserve where the illegal plantation was found supplies much of Mexico City with drinking water.

The attorney general's office for environmental protection said police and marines raided the area and found roads and irrigation systems had already been installed.

The plantation was shut down and charges may be filed.

Avocados thrive in much the same conditions as pine and fir forests.

Experts estimate that Michoacan loses about 15,000 to 20,000 acres (6,000 to 8,000 hectares) of forest land annually to avocado plantations.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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