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12,000-year-old female human skull excavated in Mexico

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Mexico: A 12,000-year-old female human’s skull found in the Mexican Caribbean could be the oldest human remains ever unearthed in the Americas, a media report said on Friday.

The skull was excavated from an underground cave along the coast of Tulum, in Quintana Roo state, and could date back to between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago, according to Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM).

The reconstruction of the skull to determine the sex, age and other characteristics was done by the Paris-based Atelier Daynes studio, lead researcher Alejandro Terrazas Mata of UNAM’s Anthropological Research Institute (IIA) said.

The University of Heidelberg was also involved in the discovery, Xinhua reported.

Researchers said that the remains appear to belong to none of the known indigenous groups in the Americas, “in part because the skull is not very similar to those of today’s indigenous groups”, said Mata.

The prevalent theory about the continent’s early settlers holds that a group of Asiatic people migrated across the Bering Strait some 15,000 years ago. Known as Paleoamericans, their craniofacial features share common ancestry with people from South Asia.

Another migration of a different group, who became the ancestors of the continent’s indigenous peoples also known as Amerindians, took place 9,000 years ago.

Mata said that the studio was substantiating whether the skull found belonged to an ancestor of the Amerindians or not. (IANS)

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Report: Narcotics Consumption, Production Up Significantly Worldwide

“Poppy harvest that you see in so many countries throughout South America, as you do in Mexico, en route to the United States has increased by a significant amount as registered in the report,”

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Narcotics
Posters comparing lethal amounts of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil are on display during a news conference about the dangers of fentanyl at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Va., June 6, 2017. VOA

Illegal heroin and fentanyl exports from Mexico to the United States are on the rise, according to World Drug Report 2017 compiled by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and backed by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Speaking in Mexico City, as the report, which tracks narcotics consumption and production throughout the world, was released Thursday, INCB President Raul Martin del Campo noted the significant increase of drug use around the world, highlighting the harvest and trafficking of illicit drugs in and from South America.

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“Poppy harvest that you see in so many countries throughout South America, as you do in Mexico, en route to the United States has increased by a significant amount as registered in the report,” he said. “Fentanyl precursors have also been detected as entering the country, and that is having a consequence with respect to the composition of these drugs that are being exported illegally.”

narcotics
Three-quarters of the cocaine consumed in Mexico comes from Mexico and Central America, the report noted. Pixabay

Fentanyl interceptions skyrocket

Seizures of fentanyl, a significant contributor to the epidemic of overdose deaths, by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection increased from less than 1 kilogram in 2013 to about 200 kilograms in 2016, the INCB said.

ALSO READ: Drug Problem: 274 narcotic-related cases registered and 320 people arrested in three months in India

Mexico is under increasing pressure to combat drug trafficking after more than 25,000 homicides were recorded last year across the country as rival drug gangs increasingly splintered into smaller, more violent groups. (VOA)

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