Directorate of Intelligence
International Narcotics Situation Report
International Narcotics Situation Report
for Expansion in Narcotics Cultivation
The cultivation of illicit narcotics during this decade is likely to expand to 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 sources of
Few Constrainis on Crop Cultitation
Vast hectarage is available worldwide for illicit narcotics cultivation. Narcotics crops now arc primarily grown in relatively small areas in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia for coca and in the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescent for opium poppy. In fact, the total land devoted to coca and opium poppy cultivation worldwidcj
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Climate is not muchonstraint. While Erythroxylum coca 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 are not so selective. Although these varieties produce far less cocaine alkaloid, they can thrive and produce alkaloid in almost any climate that precludes frost. Only extreme temperatures and drought prohibit poppy cultivation. Papaver somniferum. 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 with cool temperatures and uniformly moist growing conditions.
Shifts in cultivation patterns occur regularly and over time can result in significant changes:
Coca growers in Peru's central Huallaga 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 the northern 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 arc holding down yields. Poppy cultivation is also emerging in Peru and Ecuador.
poppy cultivation reemerged in Afghanistan's Helmand Valley following0 assassination of Mullahribal leader who badultivation ban there9oppy cultivation is expanding in other areas as refugees of the war return home.1-
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 lo 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.
Narcotics cultivation, especially of opium poppy, may increase in Eastern Europe and many of the republics of 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. T
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 Ihc price of wheat, rice, or other crops, many impoverished farmers would readily respond to invitations to grow coca or opium poppies.!-
latinOpium Production Proliferating
Colombian traffickers may be taking advantage of Peru's and Ecuador'sgrowing conditions to evade isogotas eradication efforts. TheopiumPeru this year indicate that there are
atectares under cultivation in the Hualiaga Valley, and the processing of heroin in Pucallpa raises the possibility that poppies may be cultivated in this area of Peru as well.
Peru's New Drug Coordinator
In mid-October. President Fujimori appointed recently fired Air ForceGeneral Velarde as Peru's narcotics representative to Washington. Inujimori agreed torug coordinator as partS-Peruvian pact to work jointly on antidrug issues, but the position had gone unfilled until now. In addition to his narcotics coordinaior duties, Velarde reportedly also will serve as the Peruvian Air Force attache for the United States and Canada, representative to an OAS antidrug commission, and assistant air attache in Paris.
Velarde's appointment allows Fujimori to fullhil the termsountemarcotics agreement with the United States and also lo placate military concerns about the General's abrupt ouster. Fujimori is unlikely to concede much authority to Velarde, who, removed from Lima and given multiple duties, will be hard pressed io actocal point for Peru's counternarcotics policy and is unlikely io wield significant clout within the Embassy in Washington.!-