INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS SITUATION REPORT

Created: 11/1/1991

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

APPROVED FOR RELEASE DATE;1

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RAFFICKERS AND HEROIN PRODUCTION

ITEM 2: COrOMBTA: OPIUM CULTIVATION REACHES COMMERCIAL LEVEL;

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ITEM 7: HIGHLIGHTS ITEM 1: TRAFFICKERS AMD HEROIN PRODUCTION

A SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION OF OPIUM POPPY CULTIVATION IN COLOMBIA DURING THE PAST YEAR REFIECTS TRAFFICKER INTEREST IN ENTERING TBE INTERNATIONAL HEROIN MARKET. ALTHOUGH COLOMBIAN HEROIN PRODUCTION IS STILL MINOR BY GLOBAL STANDARDS, THE PRESENT RATE OF EXPANSION INDICATES THAT OPIUM CULTIVATION IS COLOMBIA COULD SURPASS THE COMBINED TOTALS FOR MEXICO AND GUATEMALA BY THE END OF NEXT YEAR. TKE TRAFFICKERS' VAST RESOURCES AND WELL-DEVELOPED NETWORKS WOULD ALLOW THEM TO USE SUCHA RASE TOICHE IN THE US AND EUROPEAN MARKETS. I

THE COLOMBIANS APPEAR TO BE PARTICIPATING IN HEROININCREASE THEIR SHORT-TERM DRUG PROFITS, IMPROVE THEIRMARKETING PROCESSES, AND DIVERSIFY. THE COLOMBIANBI TRYING TO "COVER THEIR BETS" IN RESPONSE TO REPORTS CFUS COCAINE MARKET. BUT THE POWERFUL PROFIT COULD ACCOUNT FOR THE SHIFT. LAW ENFORCEMPNT DATAEXAMPLE, THAT THE PRUF1: MARGIN ON HE.-PIN IU AHOUT IC 7HAN

I AN CARTELS HAVE EVALUATED THE HEROIN MARKET AND BELIEVE TEAT IT MAY EXPAND OVER TEE NEXT FEW, ESPECIALLY IN THE UNITED STATES. CALI TRAFFICKERS, WHO PRESENTLY HAVE THE STRONGEST COLOMBIAN ORGANIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES. APE FUNDING

TKE PATTERN OF INCREASED POPPY CULTIVATION SUGGESTS THE TRAFFICKERS FOR NOW ARE FOCUSING ON PERFECTING PRODUCTION METHODS RATHER THAN GEARING UPAJOR SWITCH FROM COCAINE TO HEROIN. IN ADDITION, RODUCTION PERSPECTIVE, POPPY CULTIVATION DOES NOT

RESOURCES FROM THE COCAIN HEROIN PROCESSING WOULD NOT NO OF COCAINE,

OPIUM POPPIbS AIO. HA

DIFFERENT AREAS THAN COCA PLAN USING THE EXPANDED CULTIVATION OF THEIR HEROIN.

QUALITY OF COLOMBIAN HEROIN IS POOR, COMPARED WIT AVAILABLE, AND, IF THE COLOMBIANS HOPE TO BE COMPETI HAVF TOMPROVED.

INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OR EXAMPLE. THE TITUDE AND IN SO ARE PROBABLY TY AND QUALITY

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the expansion foppyfields, 3ui bogota is

undecided about what approach to take- the government's current manual eradication efforts can tie up large numbers of troops or police, diverting them from other counternarcotics operations. in addition, manually cleared poppyfields can be replanted almostano be ready for harvest in three to five months. minister of defense. pardo recently authorized very limited aerial

attacking the

tem -: colombia: opium cultivation reachei ommercial levels

the create: occup in th?

mountainous areas of hull-a, cauca, tolika, amd santanper

eradication team reports. in hu1la ano tolima, ground observers sotsc many location-;: mcainin five to fields clustered

THE HIGH PROFIT POTENTIAL FROMCOMPARED TOUNDOUBTEDLY STIMULATING PRODUCTION. PRESS REPORTS INDICATE THAT COLON3IAN GROWERS EARN TWO TO THREE TIMES AS MUCH FROM OPIUM THAN FROM ANY OTHER LICITIZABLE CASH-FLOW COULD BE REALIZED WITHIN FOUR TO FIVE MONTHS FOLLOWING PLANTING. TRAFFICKERS SUBSIDIZE THE GROWERS' STARTUP COSTS ANDUARANTEED MARKET, ACCORDING TO THE PRESS AND THE CHI', AS FURTHER ENTICEMENTS FOR FARMERS TO ENTER TIN ' 1 ^

;UMODUCTI >N REMAINS LOT.'

OPIUM PRODUCTION IN COLOMBIA REMAINS SMALL, ACCORDING TO OUR ANALYSIS OF THE COUNTRY'S GROWING CONDITIONS AND OF THE PRACTICES USED BY GROWERS TO CULTIVATE AND HARVEST OPIUM. WE BELIEVE THAT OPIUM YIELDS IN COLOMBIA MAY BE AS LOWHIRD OF THOSE ACHIEVED BY OPIUM GROWERS IN MEXICO AND GUATEMALA, WHERE YIELDS RANGE FROMOILOGRAMS PER HECTARE. WE SPECULATE THAT COLOMBIAN OPIUM GROWERS COULD POTENTIALLY HARVEST AS MUCH ASOONS OF OPIUM GUM, EQUIVALENTONS OF HEROIN, FROM THECO HECTARES OF CULTIVATION. THIS IS ABOUT THE SAME SCALE OF PRODUCTION IN GUATEMALA, WHERE WK ESTIMATE FARMERS HARVESTEDECTARES

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WE ATTRIBUTE THE COUNTRY'S LOW CP1UK YIELDS LARGELY TO GROWER INEXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTING PROPER METHODS FOR CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING OPIUM:

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very moist andjns founl in colons a's

opium growing regions are ideal for poppy plant growth, but not ideal for achieving optimum opium gum yields. most of the fields observed contained plants exhibiting luxuriant growth, but with small, low-yielding poppy capsules. higher opium poppy yields occur in moderately moist and fertile soils.

despite this, we judge that colombian growers should be able to double or triple their yields over the next several years as they gain experience and improve their growing and harvesting methods.

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