LATIN AMERICA - REGIONAL AND POLITICAL ANALYSIS

Created: 3/17/1977

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Latin America

REGIONAL AND POLITICAL ANALYSIS

Operation Condor I; Mexican Military's Anti-N'arcotics Campaign

Operation Condorpecial military task force assembled to augment the Mexican government's opiurc eradication program, appears to boontribution to Mexico's overall drug control effort. Working in conjunction with Attorney Ceneral Oscar Flores Sanchez, who II responsible for narcotics suppression lft Mexico, Secretary of Defsnse General Galvan Lopez has deployedroops into the tri-state region of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Purango. The mission of the task force is to disrupt drug trafficking and curtail the general lawlessness which prevails throughout the northwest sector.

operation has been besiegedos* The difficult terrain and limited airlift support

a^perer, the outset.

A general lack or supplies has addedmilitary's tftfficulties. as have liaUted intelligence and communications capabilities.

In spite of the serious obstacles, the military has demonstrated certain strengths which have enabledo achieve some success. The task force is under the able command of General Jose Hernandez Toledo, on honest and disciplined leader whoero-like reputation in the amy. He and his subordinate ccmnanders constantly move throughout the tri-state area analysing operations, critiquing juniornd correcting deficiencies.

Organized in five-man assault squadso**i, the troops are systematically destroying smaller poppy fields which were not chemically sprayed by They arc also guarding clandestine airfields, dismantling illicit processing laboratories, andextenaive. mobile roadblocks throughout the crop-growing sectors.

Culiacan ma> traffickers are

Alto, drug prodi reportedly are i

Operation Condoi oltw houst reputation for <

ral bands oE

iminishing supply of drugs.

ction in the Sinaloan mountains

einq deserted by caspesincs who Know of 's activities. Construction has tapered s for Durango traffickers who have a

onspicuouc and lavish dwellings.

Hexi onaken on man expandedunctioi ive focused :king has '3 role has

1 .

tho long range success ofrug control progl depend onstrong endorsenent by the Mexican government, effective administration ol the eradication and enforcement programs, and thecomitment of resourcesriority problem. The eilitary's role in Operations anthat Mexico is one step closer toward achieving

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that success, Operation Condor II is presentlyIn Michoacen, and subsequent Condor campaigns nay ba undertaken in th* regions. But as long-as the drug industry's managervant regains relatively unaffected, the destruction of raw materials and detention of lowertraffickers will constituteartial auccess.

Reducing corruptionanageableociety to the dangersnarcotics abuse, and developing alternate sources of income for the rural sectors of Mexico that have become dependent on oplun poppy cultivation are sone of th* areas which may be outside the realm of Condor I, Nevertheless, they are issues the government will have to address itverall anti-narc^tic.SJXC^raiL is toasting effect.

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