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«United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs International Narcotics Control Strategy Report ...»

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INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Introduction

Methamphetamine pills and, increasingly, the crystal form of methamphetamine are the most important drugs exported from Burma. Burma‘s illicit methamphetamine exported to Thailand has a devastating impact on drug users, and this substance is having a growing negative impact on China and the countries of Southeast Asia. Burma‘s lawless border regions and endemic corruption help facilitate the diversion and trafficking of precursor chemicals.

In terms of its enforcement efforts, Burma has eradicated narcotics operations of smaller groups such as the Kokang Chinese, but other more potent groups, such as the Wa, continue to operate. Burmese law enforcement seized larger quantities of methamphetamine, precursors and heroin in 2009. Burma‘s seizures included the largest heroin seizure (762 kg) ever made in Southeast Asia, the seizure of 13.1 million methamphetamine tablets, and more than 20 metric tons of chemical precursors. However, methamphetamine and heroin continued to flow out of Burma‘s ethnic minority regions to the major surrounding countries.

It has been six years since the last U.S.-Burma joint opium yield survey, previously an annual exercise.

In the absence of that survey, an annual survey conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is used to track opium cultivation and production. Opium yield surveys are clearly in the interest of both sides to track the implications of policy steps taken and to gauge future action based on concrete facts rather than estimates.

The number of injecting drug users and regular consumers of methamphetamine-type stimulants in Burma is increasing, and intravenous drug users contribute to the expansion of Burma's HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Burma has one of the most serious problems of illegal drug use in Asia. However, Burma‘s prevention and drug treatment programs suffer from inadequate resources and a lack of high-level government support.

Memorandum of Justification for Presidential Determination of Major Illicit Drug Transit or Illicit Drug Producing Countries for FY 2011 Bolivia The United States remains committed to the bilateral dialogue designed to establish the basis for a cooperative and productive relationship going forward, and especially to agree on joint actions to be taken regarding issues of mutual interest, including counternarcotics.

We recognize that the government of Bolivia has taken some steps to combat the production and trafficking of illegal narcotics. However, during the past year Bolivia failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements or to take the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

Over the past 12 months, the United States maintained its counternarcotics support for Government of Bolivia counternarcotics efforts. While the Government of Bolivia‘s efforts, particularly those benefitting from U.S. support, continued to achieve some goals in interdiction and eradication, the Bolivian Government failed to diminish the production of coca leaf and cocaine products.

The United States Government estimated that, in 2009, net coca cultivation in Bolivia was approximately 35,000 hectares, nearly 9.4 percent higher than 2008 and the highest estimated level in a decade. In 2009, Bolivia eradicated 6,341 hectares of coca, about 1,100 more hectares than the previous year. These results, while significant, have not resulted in a net reduction in the cultivation of coca in Bolivia.

The United States Government estimated that Bolivia‘s potential cocaine hydrochloride production remained at 195 metric tons in 2009. Bolivian police seized approximately 27 metric tons of finished cocaine and coca paste in 2009, a figure slightly lower than 2008. Law enforcement in Bolivia also reported the destruction of 4,865 cocaine base labs, roughly the same number as in 2008. In 2009, the

INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Introduction

number of cocaine hydrochloride labs destroyed increased to 16, as compared to seven in the previous year. In large part because of the Bolivian Government‘s January 2009 decision to expel U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials from Bolivia, the United States Government is unable to verify this data. The trends track the rising prevalence of Colombian-style manufacturing methods and the increasing presence of Columbian and Mexican drug traffickers in Bolivia.

The Government of Bolivia continued its efforts to obtain counternarcotics assistance from other countries, especially Brazil. These efforts have not addressed the gap in operational support and enhanced investigative capabilities to target and dismantle drug trafficking organizations created by the government‘s expulsion of the DEA.

In addition, Bolivia has not implemented some of the controls outlined by the international counterdrug conventions. Strict licensing for coca growers is not enforced, illicit coca crops are not seized at the time of harvest, and illicit coca markets are not closed. The Government of Bolivia also failed to develop and execute a national drug strategy consistent with its international obligations.

The Bolivian government promotes a policy of ―social control‖ of illicit and excess coca cultivation. The policy has diminished violence, but it has not yielded reductions in excess production. The Government of Bolivia maintained its intent to increase the amount of coca it deems licit to 20,000 hectares, in violation of its own laws and international obligations.

The total effort by the Government of Bolivia over the past 12 months falls short of its obligations to the international community as outlined in the United Nations and bilateral agreements. In accordance with Section 481(e)(4) of the FAA, the determination of having failed demonstrably does not result in the withholding of humanitarian and counternarcotics assistance. It is in the vital national interest of the United States to grant a waiver so that funding for other assistance programs may also be allowed to continue.

Memorandum of Justification for Presidential Determination of Major Illicit Drug Transit or Illicit Drug Producing Countries for FY 2010 Venezuela Venezuela has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.

This determination takes into account actions taken by the Government of Venezuela during the past 12 months. Despite the opportunity for improved collaboration which could have been provided by the return of Ambassadors to Caracas and Washington, Venezuela has not responded to U.S. Government offers to work in a consistent, rigorous, and effective way towards greater cooperation on counternarcotics. Venezuela‘s President and Minister of Justice continue to refer to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a drug trafficking organization. Venezuela never replied to an invitation by the Office of National Drug Control Policy extended in September 19, 2009, to send experts to the Marijuana Potency Monitoring Program in Oxford, Mississippi. In 2009, the U.S. Ambassador extended an invitation to Venezuela‘s National Anti-Drug Office (ONA) Director to discuss developing a mechanism for exchanging information on drug smuggling flights for Venezuelan interdiction. To date there has been no response.

Venezuela remains an important transshipment point for drugs bound for the United States and Europe and increasingly to West Africa. Corruption within the Venezuelan government and a weak and politicized judicial system contribute to the ease with which illicit drugs transit Venezuela. Trafficking through Venezuela increased from an estimated 50 metric tons of cocaine in 2004 to an estimated 143 metric tons in 2009.

INCSR 2011 Volume 1 Introduction

While the ONA publicly reports seizures of illicit drugs, the Venezuelan government does not share the necessary data or evidence needed to verify seizures or the destruction of illicit drugs. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has received permission from the Government of Venezuela to board suspect Venezuelanflagged vessels operating in the Caribbean. Venezuelan authorities require the return of confiscated vessels, people and any contraband located during these operations. There is no exchange of information regarding drug trafficking organizations, the prosecution of the suspects or the destruction of the drugs seized.

The Venezuelan Government took some positive steps regarding counternarcotics issues during the past year, including: the July 13, 2010, deportation of three significant fugitives to the United States to stand trial for drug trafficking offenses; the purchase of aircraft, radars and patrol vessels purportedly intended for combating drug trafficking; the destruction of numerous clandestine airstrips; and the transfer of several drug traffickers to Colombia, the United States, and Europe. However, Venezuela remains a preeminent transit country for cocaine shipments. The Venezuelan Navy and Coast Guard did not report making any at-sea drug seizures on their own in the last 12 months. The number of illicit flights that depart Venezuela to supply drug trafficking organizations remains unchanged, indicating that the new aircraft and radars are not effectively employed.

In addition, there continue to be credible reports that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) have established camps in Venezuela along its border with Colombia. The ability to operate freely in western Venezuela would facilitate the FARC‘s wellestablished involvement in narcotics trafficking. The Venezuelan Government merely denies the reports and has refused to investigate them further or to permit international bodies to investigate them. In light of this lack of action, questions are legitimately raised as to whether the Venezuelan Government and armed forces are tolerating this presence. Individual members of Venezuela‘s National Guard and Police are credibly reported to both facilitate and be directly involved in narcotics trafficking.

Venezuela‘s efforts fall short of its obligations to the international community as outlined in the relevant United Nations Conventions and bilateral agreements. A determination of having failed demonstrably does not affect funding for humanitarian and counternarcotics programs. A limited U.S. vital national interest waiver to Venezuela will permit funding for other programs critical to U.S. foreign policy interests.



–  –  –

Overview for 2010


Drug trafficking and transnational organized-crime pose a serious threat to citizens of all countries. For the United States, this has led to broad support for promoting security abroad as a crucial part of protecting the health and safety of American citizens at home. Today, over $2 billion dollars (managed through the U.S. Department of State‘s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL)) is provided annually in U.S. foreign assistance for a range of bilateral and multilateral initiatives with partners abroad. This technical assistance and financial support is used to further drug control, law enforcement and administration of justice where transnational organized crime seeks to gain a foothold.

As President Barack Obama stated in the Administration‘s 2010 National Drug Control Security Strategy, ―combating international criminal and trafficking networks requires a multidimensional strategy that safeguards citizens, breaks the financial strength of criminal and terrorist networks, disrupts illicit trafficking networks, defeats international criminal organizations, fights government corruption, strengthens the rule of law, bolsters judicial systems and improves transparency.‖ This view is also the underlying story of the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).

International Frameworks:

In 1909, a handful of countries, including the United States, met in China to negotiate and sign the Shanghai Declaration, the first international convention that recognized that some drugs are dangerous and that the nations of the world must work together to regulate them. Decades international efforts culminated in the world‘s blue print for drug control, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which has been signed by nearly every country in the world. To stay ahead of agile criminal elements, the UN Convention‘s aim of international cooperation through implementation of comprehensive programs is reflected in numerous national policies, practical initiatives and strategies, and regional and bilateral conventions and agreements. In recent years, the UN Convention against Translational Organized Crime, the UN Convention against Corruption, the OAS‘s 2010 Drug Strategy for the Hemisphere and a wide range of other regional accords have been adopted to promote the concept of a unified international front aimed at ensuring rule of law around the world. Countries understand they must continually adapt to stay ahead of criminal elements who attempt to undermine the aspirations of the community of nations.

Drug Demand Reduction:

The international community increasingly accepts that drug use is as much a public health problem as it is a public safety problem. The United States has emphasized prevention and treatment and, like many other nations, is determined to adapt the latest scientific knowledge and effective social services to help these individuals overcome their addiction. At the same time, strategies aimed at supply reduction and law enforcement control measures, at home and abroad, continue to be integral to overall national and foreign policy objectives.

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