Created: 10/1/1992

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International Narcotics Situation Report


n Narcotics Cultivation-

The cultivation of illicit narcotics during this decade is likely to expand lo new areas as established growers move away from government antidrug operations or insurgent violence and as farmers shift from licit to illicit crops to gain dramatic increases in profits. Even if some countries manage successful eradication programs, traffickers would be able to find with ease new sources of narcotics. I-

Few Constraints on Crop Cultivation

Vast hectarage is available worldwide for illicit narcotics cultivation. Narcotics crops now are primarily grown in relatively small areas in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia for coca and in ihc Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent for opium rxrppy. In fact, ibe total lando coca and opium poppy cultivation worldwide. [

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about the sizcoi

Climate is nol muchonstraint. While Erythroxylum coco variety coca, from which overercent of the world's cocaine is derived, requires constant, moderate temperatures and high humidity for optimal cocaine alkaloid production, the other three varieties of coca arc not so selective. Although these varieties produce far less cocaine alkaloid, ihey can thrive and produce alkaloid in almost any climate iha: precludes frost. Only citreme temperatures and drought prohibit poppy cultivation. Papavtr somntfeum. the poppy from which virtually all heroin is derived, can grow almost anywhere from equatorial regions to aboutlatitude. The highest opium yields arc obtained in areas wiih cool temperatures and uniformly moisi growing conditions.

Shifting Cultivation

Shifts in cullivation patterns occur regularly and over time can result in significant changes:

Coca growers in Peru's central Hualiaga Valley continue to migrate away from insurgent violence, counternarcotics operations, anddegradation brought on by poor farming practices. New coca growing areas are being established in ihc nonhern part of the Valley and in the Aguaytia and Ucayali Valleys.

Colombia has emerged as ihe largest cultivator of opium poppy in the Western Hemisphere, although labor shortages and grower inexperience are holding down yields. Poppy cultivation is also emerging in Peru and Ecuador.

Opium poppy cultivation reemerged in Afghanistan's Hclmand Valley following0 assassination of Mullahribal leader who hadultivation ban there9oppy cultivation is expanding in other area* as refugees of Ihc war return homej

Potential for Expansion

Wc expect continuing expansion in existing areas of narcotics cultivation as well as appearances of new growing areas:

In existing growing areas, we believe cultivation will shift within countries or into neighboring states in reaction to government pressures or depletion of soils.

Significant new growing areas will most likely emerge in areas of the developing world where farmers have few economic alternatives and where national governments, lacking resources or public support, cannot exercise complete control.

cultivation, especially of opium poppy, may increase in Eastern Europe and many of the republics qf the former Soviet Union as political turmoil continues and economic conditions worsen.

at the turn of the century produced0 tons of opiumin particular. Yunnan Province, could easily againajor producer of opium.p

Traffickers, who as businessmen will do their best to develop new markets and boost profits, will, in our view, do whatever is necessary to ensure their supply of illicit drugs. With prices of illicit drug crops often three toimes the price of wheat, rice, or other crops, many impoverished farmers would readily respond to invitations to grow coca or opium poppies. [


Mexico: Eradication Counters Increased Cultivation

narcotics crop suppression programs wereecord-setting pacehrough June, the amount of Opium and marijuana destroyed was nearly double the rate for the first six months last year.esult, despite substantial increases in grosscaused by much improved weather, barvcstablc cultivation of Mexico's opium crop will probably be less than lastectares and rhe marijuana crop only slightly more than last5es,

The Trends

Growers probably are taking advantage of favorable weather to increase cultivation of both opium poppy and marijuana after two years of drought in Mexico's primary growing areas and more effective government eradication programs that have reduced theirearnings in recent years.9exican opium production fellercent, andproduction droppedercent. During the first halfreater than average rainfall in the north has resullcd in nearly ideal growing conditions. Rainfall during the traditional drythrough June- maintained high soil moisture levels and provided irrigation water to overcome short dry

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Mexico: Accumulated Precipitation in the Northern Region.2

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Despite big gains in eradication, net marijuanamay increase slightly because tbe abundant rainfall almost certainly alloweduch more dramatic increase in gross cultivation; unlike opium, Mexico's marijuana crop usually is not irrigated and depends more on rainfall for its water requirements Even if net cultivation of opium and marijuana falls, however, improved growing conditions brought on by the abundant rains could lessen the impact ofby boosting crop yields Assuming tbe favorable weather continues through the end of the year, opium gum production could] metric tonsecline in net cultivation, while smokesbie ntinjuana could signincantly exceed lastons. |


Highlights ii j

traffickers may be taking advantage of Peru'* and Ecuador'sgrowing conditions to evade Bogota's eradication efforts. TheopiumPeru this year indicate that there arc

atbuuies uimer cuinvauon in he Huallaga Valley, and the processing ol heroin in Pucallpa raises the possibility that poppies may be cultivated in this area of Peru as well.

Peru's New Drag Coordinator

In mid-October. President Fujimori appointed recently tired Air ForceGeneral Velarde as Peru's narcotics representative to Washington. Inujimori agreed torug coordinator as part'S-Peruvian pad to work jointly on antidrug issues, bul the position had gone unfilled until now. In addition to his narcotics coordinator duties, Velarde reportedly also will serve as the Peruvian Air Force attache for the United Slates and Canada, representative lo an OAS antidrug commission, and assistant air attache in PansJ

Velarde's appointment allows Fujimori lo fullfill the termsounternarcotics agreement with ihe United States and also lu placate military concerns aboul the General's abrupt ouster. Fujimori is unlikely to concede much authority lo Velarde, who. removed from Lima and given multiple duiies, will be hard pressed lo actocal point for Peru's counternarcotics policy and is unlikely to wield significant clout within ihc Embassy in Washington.^

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