Mexican authorities seized a half-ton of cocaine from a vessel that had arrived at a port in the Yucatan Peninsula from Lima, Peru.

In a joint statement, the federal Attorney General's Office and the Navy Secretariat said the Liberian-flagged Hansa Berlin was heading for Cancun, Mexico's leading tourist resort.

The cocaine was found Thursday at Progreso port inside the false bottoms of cardboard boxes of clothing. The authorities found a total of 559 packets of cocaine weighing 539 kilos (1,187 pounds), the statement read.

According to experts, some 300 tons of South American cocaine are shipped annually through Mexico to the United States, the world's largest market for illegal drugs.

Cartels' turf battles for control of smuggling routes are one of the main drivers of the drug-related violence that has left more than 40,000 dead in Mexico in less than five years.