Soutb Areccni clashes 'c BBltnarootics loroci and Miurtenu Id
Celemtia't southeast iunglci probabiv will came Bogota to curtail iu recently intensifiedagairiii large eotaioe refiniftf etflttri loci led ia this area. Doriaa May. ipccial aisiinarcout* units ol" tha National Police had two atarattshca with tba RndutioMry Armed Forcn ot* Colombiahe covntrv's brgcat(reap, and om with forces suspected of bcJoagina to the tatauer Peoniesoa Aiamy In tbe men serious attack, four police agents were blhd whaa theiricturainiwocaaslul cocaine laboratory raidambushed bj SO toRC troop- armed with rotkeu and automatic. weapons.
fersattiihis over much ofstart of the marijuana growing season in April reportin the northeastern mouaiaini -once Colombia'sim appnra- crhhough itloo early ia the trowing season toeulttvatien, the observers fouad that la the Sierra Nevada deand ia tbe isearbr Sarraaia da Peru* Mountains, manyfialds were ahaadonad or pleased with other crops. Theof seedbeds observedurther lacbcatioa that ctdtrntSoaas widespread as last year. The observation* tend to confirmscene growers tba: repeated aerial sprayiag had discouragedplanting anartjuana. Culth-atioa it apparently erneriiag ia etheroffset thb deehor. Oer the past several rears, source* havecultivation was eapandiftg ia tbt Gttfo dt Uraba area as more crop*rawn tains werefound
hundreds of newly clearedanirn cf manjuna cuhivation to the* round the Gulf. There have been reports of new marijuana cultivationother areas at well, y j
Colombia's newly elected President Virgitio Barco has slid little about ihe narcotics problem, bat the US Embassy ia Bogota expects thai be will coniiavc coanternarooiics cfTotts begun by President Bciancur when be assumes olhec in August. As Ambassador to the United Statesarco signed the bilateral extradition treaty with Washington. According to Embassy reports, Barco privately told US officials ihat drug-related cccidptionorrosive effect oa Colombian society and that he wants to cooperate with Washiagton in criminal investigation! and reform of Colombia's cumbersome snd corrupt judicial system. Barco has not stated, bowe<cr, what specific antidrug actions he plans to take, especially concerning the politically sensitive and physically dangerous problems of extending marijuana eradication into areas where cjiiivnan iior attacking the major cocaine processing centers located ia Insurgeat-comrofled areas. Narcotics never became an important issue during the previdential campaign, and Barco may wait until he has addressed the country's pressing security and economic problems beforeomprehensive drug control strategy.
Ptra't coca eradication programetback tn April when Prescent Garcia decided to suspend an important operation in the Upper Hualligaof the country's leading coca-growing
than use force to quell aa aniinarcoiica demonstration.|
o3ds ofTJma reaching its eracjcstloo target of
0 2 8' 7
ectare* by the cad of the year, however, arc waning.
Ihc Minister of Initfior hai warned that fulnic opcratiCM rrliyTOcToce stowed ot canceled if eradication learnt cannot be protected. I
The Mexican Government reacted recently to increajinj livleitEca in Sioaloo State and to opposition charges of druj-relt'.ed corruption. Acting ca the orders of President de tatombined force ofederal and state police and military personnel conducted starches througBout Sinaloa for illegal weapons and stolen vehicles. Accordingexican press reports, Institutional Revolutionary Party leaders forced three senior state officials lo resign just prior to thi operation, apparently beeasse of alleged invert mean svith drug traffickers. Sioaloa it one of Mexico's most important opium refining and grossing regions and bat tac highest crime rate in the CMtnry.1
- aOriginal document.