Opium Eradication Efforts in Mexico:

Cautious Optimism Advised [Unclassified Digest]

GGD-77-6: Published: Feb 18, 1977. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 1984.

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With the disruption of the Turkish-French heroin connection in recent years, more poppies have been cultivated in Mexico to meet the demand for heroin in the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration identified Mexico as the source of 89 percent of the heroin in the United States. Approximately 5.2 metric tons of Mexican heroin entered the United States in 1975. Conflicting information exists on opium poppy cultivation, and such information may not accurately reflect the current situation. Since 1970, the United States has contributed about $35 million to assist the Mexican Government with narcotics control efforts. U.S. assistance to Mexico has escalated without sufficient detailed planning. Eradicating poppies by aerial spraying with herbicides has been a priority goal of the program, and about twice as many fields were destroyed from January to April 1976 as during the 1975 program. The strong endorsement of the new Mexican Government is necessary for continued improvement in narcotics control.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The U.S. Mission in Mexico should develop a more comprehensive narcotics control plan which will clearly define U.S. goals for assisting the Mexican Government in developing its own capabilities and will develop specific objectives and criteria to evaluate progress.

    Agency Affected:


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