DEA Chief Lauds Fox's Help Against Smugglers

  DEA Chief Lauds Fox's Help Against Smugglers

Posted by FoM on March 02, 2002 at 16:32:43 PT
By David L. Teibel, Tucson Citizen 
Source: Tucson Citizen 

The nation's top drug cop wanted to see for himself the challenges his agency faces in stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. So yesterday Asa Hutchinson came to this city along the U.S.-Mexico border, where drug arrests are common and thousands of pounds of cocaine and marijuana are seized each year.Hutchinson, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, credited the "excellent relationship" between President Bush and President Vicente Fox for a new level of cooperation between the DEA and its Mexican counterparts.
The result, he said, is "an increased sharing of drug-trafficking intelligence along the border."Mexico's anti-drug efforts have "improved dramatically" under Fox, who has significantly diminished government corruption in his country, Hutchinson said. "But we understand fully there are many miles to go," Hutchinson said.Speaking at a news conference yesterday morning at the DEA's Nogales office, Hutchinson said intelligence sharing among U.S. and Mexican law officers has resulted in significant arrests."We have become more effective, efficient in grabbing the amount of product (drugs) they're trying to move through," he said. "We're trying to meet the president's mandate in reducing the amount of drugs coming across into the United States."Hutchinson said two-thirds of this nation's drug supply arrives across the Southwest border and through the West Coast.He had no dollar estimate for the drugs being smuggled into the United States.But he said the DEA's budget this year is $1.5 billion and "that's a small drop compared to the illegal drug trade out there."While Hutchinson said Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist group "clearly" is being funded in part by the Mideast heroin trade, there is no indication terrorist groups are funding operations with profits from drug trafficking across Mexico's border with the United States.Drug smuggling "must be prosecuted regardless of whether drugs are smuggled for monetary gain or ultimately to fund terrorism," according to the DEA chief.Hutchinson also visited DEA offices in Phoenix and met with law enforcement officials in Flagstaff, where he announced the creation of a DEA office.Note: U.S. anti-drug agency head Asa Hutchinson tours the Nogales area to get a closer look at the war on drugs."We're trying to meet the president's mandate in reducing the amount of drugs coming across into the United States," says DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson.Source: Tucson Citizen (AZ)Author: David L. Teibel, Tucson CitizenPublished: March 2, 2002Copyright: 2002 Tucson CitizenContact: letters tucsoncitizen.comWebsite: Articles:Billions In Drugs Moved Via Tunnel Find Arizona Drug Tunnel

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Comment #6 posted by Jose Melendez on March 03, 2002 at 08:45:31 PT:
I'm confused.
Two countries can be considered as world's main opium poppy growers: Myanmar (Burma) with an estimated annual 2,500 tons, and Afghanistan that produces between 1,000 and 1,500 tons of opium every year (OGD 1996). 
(snip)Around 70% of the heroin in Europe is made on the basis of Afghan opium (OGD 1995, p. 6). 
OK, some variables are still missing for me to understand this. Ignoring for the moment that Mexico eradicated 42,000 acres of poppies, it seems strange that they "only" produced 78 tons, in light of the 1500 tons Afghanistan once produced.Anyone? 
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Comment #5 posted by Dan B on March 03, 2002 at 06:07:05 PT:
These two articles (the main article on this page, and the one in the first comment posted by FoM, Newshawk: MikeEEEEE) shed some light on our current world situation.I believe that the Bush administration went to war with Afghanistan for two reasons: oil and opium. When the Taliban shut down opium production for a year, the Bush administration rewarded them--for keeping the price of opium high. But he got angry with them over their refusal to allow Unocal to build a pipeline through their country, so he went to war with them. The bonus in this equation is the return of opium production--this time under United States supervision, so as to insure that the bulk of the profits go to Washington, D.C. and not to Afghanistan.And now we have the Mexico story: Asa Hutchinson congratulates Vincente Fox for curbing "corruption" in Mexico's government, which is to say that he praises Fox for limiting the competition for Mexico's drug market within the government. Remember early in Bush's government takeover here in the U.S., when he met with Vincente Fox to discuss drug policy on the property of one of Mexico's most notorious drug lords? Now, in one year opium production has increased nearly threefold! And Asa Hutchinson says, "Congratulations!" Can it be any plainer than that?Does anyone doubt that NAFTA was set up for this purpose: to make it easier for United States government collusion with other governments in North America to further take over the drug trade? Really, that is what the drug war has been about these past thirty years: the U.S. government trying to stamp out the competition. Now more than ever, it is apparent that our nation's biggest illegal drug operation has its headquarters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.And does anyone here really think that a government so corrupt that it would destroy the lives of its own citizens for drug profits, that would damage the entire world's environment in the name of oil profits, would care at all about making sound policy--about anything? They don't want sound policy; they want control.Dan B
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Comment #4 posted by p4me on March 02, 2002 at 20:03:51 PT
how about Monday and Tuesday
The people at Narconews have no problem telling the world about a conference of nations meeting in Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday concerning the human rights violations and the Plan Columbia that is fueling it. Our free press does not seem to want to say anything about that.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 02, 2002 at 18:11:10 PT
Thank you for sending me the article. Whenever a country has trouble growing Opium or Coca another country will pick it up as long as there is large volumes of money to be made. The money is the problem. That's what prohibition creates.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on March 02, 2002 at 17:51:20 PT

A clear objective $$$$$
He's down there to promote the drug war in order to keep the narco-military in business.While Hutchinson said Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist group "clearly" is being funded in part by the Mideast heroin trade, there is no indication terrorist groups are funding operations with profits from drug trafficking across Mexico's border with the United States.Give them time, I'm sure they could make something up.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 02, 2002 at 16:50:23 PT

Related Article
Study: Poppy thrives in Mexico 

Associated Press 

 Opium poppy cultivation almost tripled last year in Mexico, but there was a big reduction in Pakistan, the State Department said Friday in a report on drug production worldwide. 

Opium poppies are the raw material for heroin. 

Despite the increase in Mexico, American officials have consistently praised the level of cooperation there in combating narcotics trafficking. 

The study, titled the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, also concluded that farmers throughout Afghanistan took advantage of the collapse of the Taliban militia last November to resume poppy cultivation. 

The Taliban had banned such production but, the report said, no effort was made to seize stored opium or precursor chemicals or to arrest and prosecute narcotics traffickers. 

On Pakistan, the report said the country has essentially achieved its ambitious goal of eliminating opium production by the year 2000. 

The opium poppy crop fell to a record low of 526 acres last year, with cultivation concentrated in inaccessible areas. 

The report said Mexico effectively eradicated 42,000 acres of poppies last year but the remaining acreage still yielded 78 tons of opium gum. 

That was up from 30 tons of opium gum in 2000, the report said, adding that at current conversion rates that would mean 7.7 tons of heroin in 2001, compared with 3.3 in 2000. 

Heroin and cocaine are the illicit drugs that most concern the United States. 

In addition to the increase in poppy production last year, Mexico also registered an increase in marijuana production, from 7,700 tons to 8,140. 

Newshawk: MikeEEEEE
Source: Associated Press
Published: March 3, 2002
Copyright: 2002 Associated Press
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