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1.3 tons of contraband seized in fireworks crackdown

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At Calle Ancha del Bazar, fireworks are sold lawfully all year long. Photo: Mérida de Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán — In the first week of a crackdown on illegal pyrotechnics, 1.3 tons of Chinese gunpowder products have been seized, authorities report.

Of the contraband, 90 percent was found in warehouses in the first square of the city — the blocks closest to the Plaza Grande.

According to the state attorney general’s estimates, the fireworks were valued at just over 1.6 million pesos. Each kilogram of product has a value between 1,300 and 1,500 pesos under this calculation.

So far, no one has been detained in connection with the investigation.

Stockpiled fireworks are a concern to authorities. A year ago, a fireworks explosion occurred at the San Pablito Market north of Mexico City. At least 42 people were killed and dozens were injured.

More recently, a Christmas Eve explosion in Cuba wounded 39 people. The incident occurred at a huge Parrandas festival in the town of Remedios, according to state media.

Firework sales are highly regulated in Mexico. Vendors are issued permits to sell from kiosks, but only for domestically made fireworks.

The next permits are good for Dec. 29-31, in time for New Year’s Eve.

Stalls at Calle Ancha del Bazar, on Calle 65 between 54 and 56, sellers are allowed to offer fireworks all year.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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