printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Policy and Program Developments


Share

Policy and Program Overview for 1999

The drug trade had little to celebrate at the end of the twentieth century. Successful international counternarcotics efforts over the past few years have gradually narrowed the drug syndicates' field of action. Crop reduction and chemical control programs have caused major shifts in cultivation and refining operations. Effective law enforcement operations have fragmented the large cartels that once dominated the cocaine trade. Better interdiction now forces traffickers constantly to shift transportation routes to move drugs to market. Improved judicial systems make it more difficult for drug criminals to buy their freedom, while tougher extradition laws deny them the national safehaven they once could count on. Also, closer international cooperation among governments and financial institutions has made it more difficult for the drug trade to legitimize its profits through money laundering schemes.

The most striking change at the end of 1999 was the continuing, steady decline in the Andean coca crop, the source of all the cocaine destined for the United States. Even taking into account a marked expansion of cultivation in Colombia, overall Andean coca cultivation totals are at a new low. The most dramatic declines occurred in Peru and Bolivia, formerly the world's two principal coca producers. They now rank a distant second and third behind Colombia. At the end of 1999, coca cultivation in Peru and Bolivia was at its lowest point since 1986, when we completed the first accurate surveys of Andean coca.

The joint effort first begun in 1995 to sever the "airbridge" that carried Peruvian coca to Colombian refineries and then to eradicate coca crops paid big dividends by the end of the decade. Of the 115,300 hectares of coca under cultivation in Peru in 1995, only 38,700 hectares remained at the end of 1999--a drop of two thirds. But Peru was not the only success story. During the same four-year period in Bolivia, Bolivian government eradication programs cut coca cultivation by more than half, from 48,600 hectares to 21,800 hectares. By any measure, these are remarkable accomplishments. Reductions on this scale were only possible through close, long-term cooperation between the governments of the United States and all of the governments concerned. They are tangible proof of what can be achieved when committed governments work together effectively toward a common goal.

There was also some bad news in 1999. Coca cultivation in Colombia increased by 20 percent. The expansion in the Colombian coca crop, however, came as no surprise. It was a predictable consequence of the successes in Peru and Bolivia. Faced by the ultimate loss of its major source of coca--and thereby a large source of its income--the Colombian drug trade has been racing to make up for the shortfall in the other two Andean producers. Realizing that the only way to have a guaranteed source of coca was to plant it in lands under their immediate control, the Colombian syndicates have been steadily moving cultivation to the conflict-ridden south and southwest of the country. Since cocaine profits also in part fund Colombia's principal insurgency, the convergence of interests has led to expanded cultivation in guerrilla-dominated territory, where security conditions make it difficult for the central government to conduct eradication operations. Through this displacement, Colombian cocaine syndicates expanded the coca crop from the 101,800 hectares at the end of 1998 to the current estimate of 122,500 hectares. Yet even with this expansion in coca, the total Andean coca crop at the end of 1999 stood at 183,000 hectares, the lowest figure since 1987.

Another disturbing development is confirmation that the Colombian syndicates have achieved extraordinary levels of efficiency in extracting cocaine from their coca crops. While, as we have reported in earlier INCSRs, we had anecdotal information that Colombian cocaine yields might be greater than initially reported, scientific confirmation did not come until 1999. Fieldwork carried out under Operation Breakthrough, an interagency yield study that has been under way for much of the past decade in the Andean region, indicates that higher yielding varieties of coca are being grown in parts of Colombia. Likewise, preliminary reporting suggests that Colombian laboratory operators are more efficient in processing coca leaf into cocaine base than previously believed. As a result, we adjusted upwards our estimates of potential cocaine HCl production in Colombia over the past five years. In 1999, Colombian refiners potentially produced 520 metric tons of cocaine HCl, a twenty percent increase over the comparable amount for 1998. Yet, even with that enormous ratcheting up of Colombian production, reductions in Peru and Bolivia brought total potential HCl from the Andean countries to 765 metric tons, a five-year adjusted low.

To help Colombia address the problem of drug expansion, the United States has proposed a two-year, $1.3 billion assistance package to strengthen Colombian democracy and reinvigorate the economy, at the same time as we attack the drug trade. In addition to coca eradication, this assistance will help train special counternarcotics battalions, purchase additional helicopters, upgrade the Colombian government's interdiction capability, promote alternative development, and increase the protection of human rights.

Cutting heroin flows to the United States also ranks high on our list of counternarcotics priorities. Though heroin abuse is still relatively limited, there are worrisome signs of increasing use, especially by young people. Stopping heroin at the source is more difficult than attacking cocaine supply. To do so we have to limit cultivation of opium poppy, from which heroin is refined. Unlike coca, which only grows in three Andean countries, the opium poppy can be found in nearly every region of the world. Also, unlike coca, opium is an annual crop and in Latin America can produce as many as three harvests per year. Where a perennial coca bush may not become productive for about two years, one can harvest opium gum an average of four months after planting. A further obstacle to U.S. efforts to limit its cultivation is that nearly 80 percent of the world's estimated opium poppy (141,000 hectares out of some 178,000) is cultivated in Burma and Afghanistan, countries where the United States has limited influence.

The opium poppies that interest us most, however, are those grown in Colombia and Mexico. Though these two countries together cultivate less than six percent of the world's total opium poppy, their production has a significant impact on the United States. Most of the heroin identified in the United States in 1999 was of Colombian or Mexican origin. With such a small crop supplying such a large share of the market, opium poppy control programs in those two countries can seriously affect the flow of heroin to the U.S. The United States Government estimates that in 1999 Mexico took out of production some 7,900 hectares, leaving 3,600 hectares for opium production. This is the lowest figure since 1992. In Colombia, however, opium poppy cultivation increased by 23 percent to 7,500 hectares. This figure would have been much larger had Colombian authorities not destroyed more than 8,000 hectares of opium poppy in 1999.

Drug Syndicates Suffer

Capturing key traffickers demonstrates--to the criminals and to the governments fighting them alike--that the syndicates are highly vulnerable to coordinated international pressure sustained over time. In the Western Hemisphere, the drug syndicates continued to suffer reverses, as key governments pursued the leaders of the major organizations. In October 1999, Operation Millennium, a joint effort involving the Colombian and U.S. governments, resulted in the arrest of scores of major Colombian traffickers. More significantly, it disrupted an international drug trafficking network that reached as far as Peru, the United States, and Europe.

Mexico continued to strike at the Juarez cartel. In 1999, Mexican law enforcement and military units moved against the remnants of the Carrillo Fuentes Organization operating in the state of Quintana Roo, especially in the resort city of Cancun. The Government of Mexico formally indicted Quintana Roo's governor, Mario Villanueva Madrid, on numerous drug trafficking charges stemming from his association with Alcides Ramon Magana. Until late 1998, Magana, in collusion with remnants of the cartel, had been coordinating multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia into the Yucatan. The ex-governor is a currently a fugitive. Also among those arrested was Juan Quintero Payan, co-founder of the Juarez Cartel.

Promoting Institutional Change

An underlying premise of our international drug control strategy has been to promote long term change in key national institutions of the main drug source and transit countries. Through training programs conducted by the principal U.S. Government law enforcement agencies, we have helped governments to modernize and professionalize law enforcement agencies. In an effort to narrow the opportunities for manipulation by the drug trade, we have worked to assist governments in strengthening their judicial and banking systems. Without a professional judicial system based on the rule of law and administered by officials of integrity, the best law enforcement operations can come to naught. There have been instances where law enforcement agencies in key drug-affected countries have captured and jailed prominent traffickers, only to see them set free by the arbitrary decision of a single judge or magistrate. Thanks to several long-standing cooperative administration of justice programs, such instances are becoming rarer. In 1999, several countries continued to modernize their laws and professionalize their court systems through reforms ranging from installing more modern equipment to major changes in the way judges are appointed. Though there will undoubtedly continue to be instances of judges arbitrarily dismissing evidence against or releasing well known drug traffickers, we can expect to see the number of such cases decline, as governments make basic reforms such as giving judges better pay and greater personal protection, while streamlining administrative procedures.

Extradition

Aside from dying at the hands of their rivals, there is perhaps no sanction that drug lords fear more than extradition to the United States. The long sentences already meted out to notorious international drug criminals by U.S. courts are stark reminders of what can happen to even the most powerful cartel leaders when they are subject to a justice system that they cannot manipulate through bribes and intimidation. Extradition for such crimes, however, is still far from universal. In many countries, where sovereign jurisdiction is politically sensitive, the laws still prohibit the extradition of their nationals. Powerful drug criminals are adept at exploiting such national sensitivities to their advantage. For example, a ban on extradition in the 1980's and 90's allowed the Medellin and Cali cartels to use their prisons as a high-security drug operations center.

In November, Colombia marked an important turning point in counternarcotics cooperation. Colombian authorities extradited a Colombian citizen to the United States for the first time in nine years, fulfilling one of the United States Government's most sought-after but elusive counternarcotics goals in that country. Despite narcotics traffickers' attempts to throw up legal roadblocks, and at least one bombing possibly linked to the extraditions, the Colombian government now appears ready to send narcotics traffickers to justice in the United States regardless of citizenship. The Colombian government's courageous decision to reverse the ban on extradition diminishes the possibility of a domestic safehaven to the current generation of drug syndicates. Other countries that extradited nationals to the United States in 1999 were Mexico and Pakistan. We hope to see similar actions by other countries whose nationals currently enjoy legal or de facto immunity from extradition.

Money Laundering

No matter how large the profits of the drug trade, drug money is worthless until it can be moved into legitimate financial and commercial channels. Disguising deposits of hundreds of millions of illegal dollars is not easy. International drug syndicates probably devote as much energy and ingenuity to finding ways of legitimizing their profits as they do to producing and moving drugs. They have been forced to become more creative thanks to international success in gradually closing off the drug trade's back avenues to international banking and financial systems. Working with our partners in the Financial Action and Caribbean Financial Action Task Forces, in 1999 we focused on expanding collective measures to make it as difficult as possible for the drug trade to legitimize its illicit fortune, especially in offshore financial institutions that accept money with few questions asked. Though several countries' financial institutions are still willing to turn a blind eye to--or even solicit--funds of questionable provenance, there has been progress over the past year. Thailand, for example, passed money-laundering legislation called for in the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Such actions move us closer to our common goal of eventually excluding drug money altogether from the international financial system.

The Drug Trade--A Formidable Opponent

Though we can take pride in our progress at the end of the century, we are still a long way from putting the drug trade out of business. As one of the pillars of international organized crime, it remains a formidable enemy. It has access to financial resources available to few national governments, without formal restraints on how they can be used. The drug syndicates also have the advantage of experience. Long before transnational crime had become recognized as a genuine threat to international stability, the Colombian and Mexican syndicates already had in place an impressive network of supply centers, distribution networks, foreign bases, and reliable entree into the governments of source and transit countries. They pioneered many of today's advanced money laundering techniques, hiring first-rate accountants, and investing in state-of-the-art technology. Even after suffering considerable losses, the drug trade's wealth, power, and organization equal or even exceed the resources of many governments.

International drug trafficking becomes more sophisticated every year, as it adapts to counternarcotics offensives. Although our collective efforts to cut drug traffic in 1999 have kept drug traffickers on the defensive, they were still able to move hundreds of tons of cocaine not only to the United States and Western Europe, but to markets in Latin America, Asia, Africa the NIS and CIS countries. The major drug trafficking syndicates are the criminal equivalent of large multinational organizations, with drug distribution centers and money laundering on every continent. But they are not alone, as Italian, Albanian, Turkish, Russian, Nigerian, and Southeast Asian crime syndicates, to name but a few, compete successfully for a share of the business.

The drug trade also promotes and adapts to changing trafficking and consumption patterns. It seeks to blur the lines between cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine-consuming countries. During the past few years we have observed more polydrug use, with addicts combining cocaine and heroin to offset each drug's respective stimulant and depressant effects. National tastes are also changing. Europe, once the preserve of the heroin trade, has developed a growing appetite for cocaine and amphetamines. In parts of Eastern Europe and Russia, cocaine sells for up to $300 per gram, three times the average cost in the United States.

In North America, heroin consumption has been gradually increasing, as cocaine use has declined sharply from skyrocketing use during the 1980's. (Between 1985 and 1998, the number of cocaine users dropped 70 percent, from 5.7 million to 1.8 million estimated users and has not risen appreciably since.) Although heroin use has not risen proportionately, the growing willingness of American high school students to experiment with heroin is disturbing. According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse released in August 1999, the rate of initiation for youths from 1994 to 1997 was the highest since the early 1970s. Though we cannot yet say whether this is the beginning of a trend, the Colombian and Mexican drug syndicates' major investment in heroin production indicates that they view the United States as a lucrative and expanding market for heroin. Given the drug trade's record in anticipating--and stimulating--market demand, the drug syndicates' persistent cultivation of opium poppy must be a cause for concern.

Dangerous Synthetics: Methamphetamine and Ecstasy

Another troubling development is the growing popularity of methamphetamine and the related drug, MDMA ("Ecstasy"). These stimulants are now an important and highly lucrative component of the international illegal drug market. Methamphetamine rivals cocaine as the stimulant of choice in many parts of the globe. The demand for methamphetamine and other synthetic stimulants, including amphetamines and MDMA, has been on the rise not only in the industrialized nations, but also in many countries of the developing world. In Thailand, for example, methamphetamine has displaced heroin as the most heavily abused drug.

The relative ease of manufacturing methamphetamine and the similarity of the refining process for MDMA appeal as much to small drug entrepreneurs as to the large international syndicates, since neither has to rely on vulnerable crops, such as coca or opium poppy. Synthetics allow individual trafficking organizations to control the whole process, from manufacture to sale on the street. Synthetics also have large profit margins and can be made anywhere from commercial chemicals. Mexico is the principal foreign supplier of methamphetamine and precursors for the United States, but there are centers of methamphetamine production in countries as far apart as Burma, Poland, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and North Korea. The United States has its own domestic methamphetamine production, as demonstrated in 1999 by the seizure of 1,916 methamphetamine laboratories by DEA and another 1,984 by state and local authorities.

Ecstasy, an amphetamine derivative, is another drug that is growing in popularity. Ecstasy first gained notoriety in the 1990's along with the "rave culture" that swept over Europe's younger generation. Ecstasy's stimulant properties furnished the chemically induced stamina to dance for hours at all-night discotheque parties known as "raves." It has now developed an international cult following, as one can see from internet sites that give detailed instructions on how to make and use MDMA "safely." Most of the MDMA available on the European drug market is manufactured in clandestine laboratories in the Netherlands and in Poland.

One pernicious aspect of Ecstasy is that many of its users do not consider it a dangerous drug. It is seen as a non-addictive stimulant. When an addictive drug develops a reputation for being relatively benign, efforts to suppress it become correspondingly difficult. Seizure data in many of this year's INCSR country chapters indicate a surge in Ecstasy consumption in Europe, suggesting that the drug's popularity is on the rise. France and Estonia are cases in point. But we have our own Ecstasy problems. The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study noted a rise in Ecstasy use by high school students. In 1999, slightly more than four percent and five percent of tenth and twelfth graders respectively reported using the drug.

Precursor Chemicals

But even synthetics have their Achilles' heel. Traffickers who manufacture stimulants and other synthetic drugs need precursor chemicals that they cannot produce themselves. Whereas opiates and cocaine require widely available and relatively substitutable "essential chemicals," amphetamine production requires "precursor chemicals", such as ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine. These chemicals have important but fewer legitimate uses and are commercially traded in smaller quantities to discrete users. It is crucial to chemical control that each country have an effective, flexible system that regulates the flow of key precursor chemicals, without undue burdens on legitimate commerce. For that reason, the United States, the European Commission, and the UN's International Narcotics Control Board worked in 1999 with key governments to strengthen an informal multilateral system of information exchange on chemicals.

Controlling Drug Supply

Our mission is to stem the flow of drugs to the United States. How effectively we do so depends on our ability to attack drug supply at critical points along a five-point grower-to-user chain linking the consumer in the U.S. to the grower in a source country. Where cocaine or heroin are concerned, the chain begins with the growers cultivating coca or opium poppies, for instance, in the Andes or Burma, and ends with the cocaine or heroin user in a U.S. town or city. In between, lie the processing (drug refining), transit (shipping), and wholesale distribution links.

Our international counternarcotics programs target the first three links of the grower to user chain: cultivation, processing, and transit. The nearer to the source we can attack, the greater our chances of halting drug flows altogether. Where crops are destroyed or left unharvested, no drugs can enter the system. It is analogous to removing a malignant tumor before it can metastasize. Crop control is by far the most cost-effective means of cutting supply. In an ideal world, with drugs halted at the source, none could enter the distribution chain and there would be no need for costly enforcement and interdiction operations.

In the real world of counternarcotics programs, however, crop control has enormous political and economic implications for the producing country, for it inevitably means attacking the livelihood of an important sector of the population. Implementing crop control programs takes time, as governments develop alternatives for the affected population. As a result, while pursuing the goal of crop elimination, we cannot neglect the processing and distribution stages. Our programs therefore must constantly direct resources toward those links where we can have both an immediate and a long-term result.

Though eradication is the most direct way of eliminating a drug crop, it is not the only way. In many countries, large-scale eradication is neither politically nor socially feasible. As our experience the past few years in Peru and Bolivia has shown, the right combination of effective law enforcement actions and alternative development programs can produce truly remarkable results. We therefore work closely with the governments of the coca growing countries to find the best way to eliminate illegal coca in any given national context.

Reducing Coca

The coca crop offers the best prospect for dramatic reductions for several reasons. Coca is confined to a specific geographical region. Significant coca cultivation takes place in only three countries--Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia--and with modern technology we can locate the growing areas precisely. Thus, unlike a multi-ton load of finished cocaine distributed among trucks, boats, and aircraft, a coca field is a large, stationary target. Eliminating coca on the ground is also highly cost-effective. Current studies indicate that in Bolivia and Peru, where alkaloid content is high, every 200 hectares of coca taken out of production deprives the drug trade on average of a metric ton of refined cocaine. So even manual eradication can make a difference. But our high-speed spray aircraft offer a more effective alternative. If these planes had unobstructed access to the principal coca plantations, they could destroy a large percentage of the coca crop in a matter of months using environmentally safe herbicides.

Because the situation varies from country to country, the United States Government has been working with each Andean government to find the best way to eliminate illegal coca in the light of prevailing local conditions. Crop reduction successes in Peru, Bolivia, and the traditional growing areas of Colombia have created a new situation by driving coca production into areas in southern and southwestern Colombia controlled by the insurgency. The situation has therefore become simultaneously better defined and more dangerous. The concentration of coca cultivation in a geographically confined area gives counternarcotics spray aircraft a better target. But the determination of the guerrillas and the drug trade to protect their vital source of income by quasi-military action poses a new level of threat to eradication aircraft that were not designed for use in hostile environments. The United States Government's proposed $1.3 billion narcotics assistance to Colombia over the next two years should offer new possibilities of dealing with this problem.

Political Will

While cooperative anti-drug programs have proven their value, the most powerful defense against the drug trade is an intangible--political will. If political will is weak where organized crime is strong, corruption soon sets in. Left unopposed, such corruption ultimately vitiates the rule of law and puts democratic government in jeopardy. Consequently, a basic objective of U.S. counternarcotics policy is to prevent drug interests from becoming entrenched by bolstering political will to oppose illicit drug trade in the key source and transit countries. In those countries where political leaders have had the courage to sacrifice short-term economic and political considerations in favor of the long-term national interest, we have seen the drug trade weaken. And where political will has faltered, the drug syndicates have prospered accordingly.

The Power to Corrupt

The drug trade's ability to subvert even relatively strong societies stems from its access to nearly unlimited amounts of money. In what resembles economic alchemy, drug syndicates transform an intrinsically cheap, available, and easily renewable commodity (e.g., coca leaves) into an almost inconceivably remunerative product. In terms of weight and availability, there is currently no commodity more lucrative than drugs. Illegal drugs are relatively cheap to produce and offer enormous profit margins that allow the drug trade to generate criminal revenues on a scale without historic precedent. At an average retail street price of one hundred dollars a gram, a metric ton of pure cocaine has a retail value of $100 million on the streets of a U.S. city--two or three times as much if the drug is cut with adulterants. By this gauge, the 100 or so metric tons of cocaine that the United States Government typically seizes each year are theoretically worth as much as $10 billion to the drug trade--more than the gross domestic product of many countries. Even if only a portion of these profits returns directly to the drug syndicates, we are still speaking of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. To put these sums into perspective, in FY 2000 the United States Government's overall budget for international drug control operations is approximately one and half billion dollars. That is the street value of approximately 16 metric tons of cocaine. The Mexican drug cartels have lost that much in a few shipments and barely felt the loss.

Such boundless wealth offers the large trafficking organizations an almost unlimited capacity to corrupt. Though less obvious, in many ways the drug syndicates are a greater threat to democratic government than many insurgent movements. Guerrilla armies or political terrorist organizations seek to topple and replace governments through overt violence. The drug syndicates, on the other hand, covertly seek to manipulate existing governments to their advantage and guarantee themselves a secure operating environment. They can do so only by co-opting the right officials. A real fear of democratic leaders should be that one day the drug trade might take de facto control of a country by putting a majority of elected officials, including the president, directly or indirectly on its payroll. Though it has yet to happen, in the past few years there have been some disquieting near-misses. By keeping the focus on eliminating corruption, we can forestall the possibility of a government manipulated by drug lords from ever becoming a reality.

The Certification Process and Corruption

Drug corruption thrives in the shadows. It needs anonymity for survival. Since it shuns the light, the best way to attack drug corruption is to expose it regularly to public scrutiny. The drug certification process offers a means of forcing corruption to the surface. It gives the U.S. government the legislative equivalent of an international spotlight to shine on corruption. Section 490 of the Foreign Assistance Act requires the President to certify annually that each major drug producing or transit country has cooperated fully or has taken adequate steps on its own to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, including rooting out public corruption. Governments that do not meet the standard lose eligibility for most forms of U.S. military and development assistance; they also face a mandatory "no" vote by the United States Government on loans in six multilateral development banks.

Controversial but Effective

By now, most governments know that U.S. law requires the President to provide this annual assessment of counternarcotics cooperation based on factual information. Setting certification benchmarks is not a unilateral process. Through regular and sustained consultation throughout the year, we work with our partners to establish realistic, mutually acceptable goals for certification evaluation purposes, based on goals and objectives of the UN Convention. Though controversial, throughout the 14 years it has been in effect the certification process has proved to be a powerful policy instrument. Its strength lies in its reliance on public, rather than on traditional diplomacy. In a sharp departure from the confidentiality inherent in traditional bilateral diplomacy, public diplomacy stresses openness and transparency. Because of its public nature, the drug certification process makes every government concerned publicly accountable for its actions, including the United States. While the United States Government obviously cannot certify itself, most governments recognize that the President of the United States cannot issue such an important public declaration without being certain of--and held accountable for--his facts. The goal of the certification process is not to sanction; it is to hold all countries to a commonly acknowledged international standard of cooperation. By its nature it also exposes the United States to full public scrutiny by the rest of the international community. We become as accountable as any other country for our successes and our failings. As uncomfortable as it may be for all concerned, it is a healthy process.

Next Steps

Our achievements at the end of 1999 suggest that we are still on the right track. Concerted, sustained action over the year has kept the drug syndicates on the defensive. In the year ahead, we will build upon our gains by further pressing the drug trade at every point--targeting drug syndicates, reducing drug cultivation, destroying labs, disrupting the flow of the necessary processing chemicals, interdicting large drug shipments and attacking drug money flows. Though we cannot neglect any stage in the process, we know that we can inflict the most lasting damage at the crop cultivation and financial operations stages. Having seen again this year how cooperative ventures pay off in reducing drug crop cultivation, we will continue to strengthen these programs. Now we need to beef up our collective efforts to curb the illegal drug conglomerates' financial operations.

Though drug syndicates are powerful in their underworld milieu, they lose their advantage when they have to operate in the legitimate world. They are especially vulnerable when it comes to cashing in their profits. The drug trade's ability to generate vast amounts of cash is simultaneously its strength and its weakness. To stay in business it needs a steady flow of drugs to generate revenue; at the same time it requires a steady flow of money to buy the drug. Like a legitimate enterprise, the drug syndicates partially finance future growth by borrowing against future earnings. So every metric ton of drugs that does not make it to market represents a potential loss of tens of millions of dollars in essential revenue. On the revenue end of the process, cash proceeds are useless unless they can be reinvested in new drug crops, arms, bribes, advanced technologies and other assets to keep the syndicates operating. If we can cut off the flow of money and drugs long enough, we can choke off the lifeblood of the drug trade.

The international financial community, working through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the regional Financial Action Task Forces, has made considerable headway in closing off the major avenues for legitimizing the proceeds of international crime. Long gone are the days when organizations could bank large blocs of cash or transfer enormous sums to anonymous bank accounts with no questions asked. Yet our progress has only blocked off some of the more obvious money laundering channels. Since we have obliged international criminals to become more sophisticated in circumventing our roadblocks, we have to become even more ingenious in devising new ones. Therefore, working closely with our partners, we will encourage all governments to refine their oversight mechanisms, tighten regulations, enact anti-money laundering legislation, and strictly enforce all money laundering laws. We also will seek better ways to identify, freeze and, ultimately, cause forfeiture of illegal drug proceeds before they can be invested. Where the United States itself is concerned, we will continue to make use of the International Economic Emergency Powers Act to keep the drug trade from exploiting legitimate companies for criminal purposes.

We enter the twenty-first century with considerable experience and success in fighting the international drug trade. In the decade and a half since the flow of cocaine pouring into the United States reached crisis proportions, we have achieved many of our immediate critical goals. Cocaine use has fallen dramatically; the coca crop is at an historic low; the big drug cartels have become fragmented; and most of the flamboyant drug syndicate bosses of the 1980s and '90s are either dead or behind bars. The foundations for long-term counternarcotics cooperation among the majority of affected countries are in place. Collectively, we can take pride in how far we have come.

There is no room, however, for complacency. Fighting the international drug trade is a complex, dynamic process. The incentives for wealth and power are enormous, while opportunities are constantly springing up in the form of a new generation of potential users across a wide range of countries. The drug trade will be quick to exploit these openings. Though the affluent societies of the West offer especially inviting prospects, no country is safe from a drug abuse crisis. Illegal drugs also will remain one of the principal sources, if not the primary source of revenue for a diversity of insurgent and criminal organizations in both hemispheres. They will also continue to be a potential source of corruption. Yet, as menacing as this opposition may be, we have shown that it cannot overcome the sustained, collective efforts of a coalition of governments committed to its destruction. Our task in the year ahead will be to make that coalition even stronger.

Coca and Cocaine

Though demand for cocaine has fallen over the last decade and a half, it remains our most serious illegal drug threat. Every year, several hundred tons enter the United States to feed a body of hard-core users. Crack, the smokable--and most quickly addictive--form of cocaine, still incites much of the violence in America's cities. Crack is simultaneously the drug dealer's dream and society's nightmare. It is cheap, potent, and addictive; it is also widely available, easily distributed, and highly profitable. Competition for the lucrative crack market continues to fuel much of the gang violence in major U.S. cities.

The United States remains the largest single market for the drug, but we may be losing that distinction. The long-term decline and leveling off in American demand for cocaine has caused the drug syndicates to seek out markets where there are better prospects for growth. Europe has been their principal target, since the Continent's general prosperity offers potential markets ripe for exploitation. In many countries of Eastern and Central Europe cocaine has the cachet of novelty that once made the drug attractive to American athletes, media stars, and Wall Street traders in the 1980s. Its stimulant properties appeal to aspiring overachievers. Russia offers another attractive growth opportunity. The combination of overnight millionaires anxious to consume and well organized criminal syndicates ready to provide drugs suits the syndicates' aims perfectly. With reports that cocaine sells for up to $300 per gram in Russia--three times the going price in the U.S.-- it is easy to see why Latin American drug syndicates continue to view Europe as a safe source of income for the next few years.

Europe, however, is not the only continent experiencing a major influx of cocaine. It is available in virtually every major city of the world. Though the volume may not be as great, cocaine is common in Asia and the Middle East, Africa, and South America. If our own experience in the last decade and a half is any guide, demand for cocaine in the rest of the world will continue to escalate until governments implement serious counternarcotics programs. If governments can strengthen the whole gamut of counternarcotics measures, including prevention, demand reduction, and enforcement programs, they may spare themselves the economic and social consequences of a major cocaine and crack epidemic.

Source and Transit Country Highlights

The United States has longstanding cooperative drug control programs with the principal source and transit countries of Latin America. The oldest of these programs are those that help the major coca growing and processing countries eliminate coca at the source. These initiatives have had remarkable success. With assistance from the United States, Peru and Bolivia have now demoted themselves to second and third tier suppliers of coca leaf and cocaine. Successes in Peru and Bolivia, however, have increased pressure on Colombia's drug syndicates to make up for losses by expanding cultivation into areas under guerrilla control. Colombian coca cultivation in 1999 increased by 20 percent. This figure would have been considerably higher if spray aircraft had not attacked caused considerable damage to the crop.

The decision to concentrate the bulk of cultivation within zones of hostile activity has raised the stakes for all concerned. Modern weapons protecting the coca fields under the control of trafficker-guerrilla and trafficker-paramilitary alliances have escalated the risks for Colombian spray planes. In 1999, the Thrush and OV-10 spray aircraft took more frequent hits as more powerful anti-aircraft weapons were brought on line. This ratcheting up of the threat has forced a rethinking of tactics, leading to a major boost in United States Government programs to assist the Colombian government in eliminating cultivation. Colombia for its part has activated its elite, U.S.-trained, counternarcotics battalion and formed an air-mobile interdiction unit to augment its power to challenge the narco-insurgent forces.

Over the next two years, the United States Government will propose $1.3 billion in assistance to help the Colombian government fight drug trafficking, bolster its economy, and strengthen its democracy. In the year ahead, the United States will provide Colombia with assistance to push into the coca growing areas now dominated by guerrillas. Among other programs, United States Government funds will train special counternarcotics battalions, purchase 30 Blackhawk and 33 Huey helicopters and provide eradication equipment.

Bolivia, which only permits manual destruction of coca, eliminated 16,999 hectares of coca, 46 percent more than in 1998. At the end of 1999, Bolivia had 21,800 hectares of coca under cultivation, a 43 percent drop from 1998. Since 1995 Bolivia's crop has decreased by more than half and is now the smallest in a decade. The government's success in crop reduction has moved it within reach of its goal of eliminating all illicit coca by the year 2002.

Peru, once the world's major coca producer, had 38,700 hectares of coca under cultivation at the end of 1999. This was a 24 percent drop from the 1998 total of 51,000 hectares. In five years, the Peruvian coca crop has been reduced by two-thirds--an extraordinary achievement.

As drug flows have been diverted to riverine and land routes, Ecuador continued to make important cocaine seizures. In 1999, Ecuadorian authorities seized nearly one metric ton of cocaine, more than twice the amount confiscated in 1998.

Central America and the Caribbean are the natural transit areas for drugs moving to the United States. Better law enforcement operations by governments in both regions have forced the drug trade constantly to vary their routes. In Central America, government action appears to have diverted many cocaine shipments from traditional overland routes. For example, cocaine seizures in Costa Rica fell drastically compared to the previous two years (approximately two tons in 1999, versus eight tons in 1998 and seven the year before.) Successful interdiction efforts may have caused traffickers to move drug shipments directly to Guatemala and points north via go-fast boats and aircraft. In 1999, Guatemalan agencies seized over ten metric tons of cocaine, including the largest seizure ever made by Guatemalan authorities. They also seized over 51 kilos of heroin and three kilos of crack cocaine. Reduced seizures in Panama confirm the apparent shift of trafficking patterns away from the established drug routes.

Mexico is the transit and distribution hub for the bulk of the drugs moving to the United States. Once Colombian cocaine reaches Mexico and Central America, powerful Mexican drug syndicates move the drug to U.S. markets. There are indications that flows into Mexico may have increased in 1999. Mexican authorities seized 37.2 metric tons of cocaine in 1999, a 65 percent increase over the 1998 figure of 22.6 metric tons.

Though the Caribbean remains an important transshipment area for the drug trade, cocaine seizures in 1999 fell in many countries of the region. As of November, law enforcement officials in the Bahamas had seized slightly less than two tons of cocaine in 1999, roughly half of the previous year's levels, but close to the two and a half metric tons seized by Jamaica, a record for that country. The Dominican Republic seized 1.1 metric tons, nearly twice the 430 kilograms seized by Haiti in 1999.

Heroin and Opiates

Heroin, unfortunately, is no longer the once discredited drug of "dead-end" addicts. Throughout the 1990s it gradually crept back onto the U.S. drug scene to a degree that worries epidemiologists and drug control experts today. They fear that heroin use could gradually take root in a new generation ignorant of the usually irreversibly addictive qualities of the drug. Heroin has an insidious property that appeals to trafficker and addict alike: it allows many addicts to develop a long-term tolerance to the drug, giving the illusion that they can control use. Where cocaine--especially crack cocaine--abuse usually leads to escalating consumption that can kill an addict in five years, an addiction to heroin can last a decade or more. Many addicts can function and hide their addiction, as long as they have access to a maintenance "fix." There have been prominent heroin addicts known to have preserved the facade of a normal life for decades, a fact that can feed youthful skepticism over heroin's real dangers.

Worse, over the past few years heroin has acquired an upscale image--"heroin chic"--among the younger generation. The archetypal heroin addict injecting him-or herself--with a dirty needle and dying miserably in a filthy back alley is a phenomenon of the past. For today's prospective heroin user in the United States, needles are not obligatory. The high purity of Colombian heroin currently available in much of the United States can be sniffed like cocaine, sparing the user from both the need for syringes and the fear of contracting AIDS from infected needles. The consequences of addiction, however, are the same--a physical and psychological dependency with withdrawal symptoms that make conquering an addiction extremely difficult. Estimates of the United States heroin addict population, which for the better part of two decades had remained at about 600,000 individuals, were revised upwards to 980,000 addicts in 1998. Including casual use, the figure may be 1.2 million. Evidence of combined drug use suggests that growing numbers of the United States' 1.8 million cocaine addicts are using heroin to cushion the "crash" that follows the "rush" of using crack.

Despite the popularity of cocaine, heroin still reigns as the hard drug of choice in much of the world. Although, according to United States Government estimates, total potential world-wide opium production in 1999 was at its lowest point in a decade and half, the approximately three thousand metric tons potentially available were more than enough to supply global heroin demand many times over. Europe, the principal consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, received some bad news in 1999. Afghanistan now is second only to Burma in the area under opium poppy cultivation and has actually surpassed Burma in potential opium gum production. Afghan opium poppy cultivation rose by 23 percent in 1999 to a total of 51,500 hectares, enough potentially to produce 1,670 metric tons of opium or 167 metric tons of heroin. By comparison, though Burma cultivated 89,500 hectares in 1999, their potential yield was 1,090 metric tons of opium gum, two-thirds of the Afghan total. As opium gum yields are much higher in Afghanistan, that country now potentially produces 55 percent of the world's opium gum.

This boom in supply can only exacerbate heroin addiction problems, not only in Europe but also in all the intervening countries along the heroin supply routes. Despite active enforcement programs in most transit countries, high-quality Afghan heroin continues to move in large quantities along the Balkan Route's northern, central, and southern branches into every important market in Europe, Russia, and the other countries of the former Soviet Union. From the size of seizures, it appears that larger and larger amounts are entering the pipeline. In 1999, Turkey seized 2.2 metric tons of heroin. Italy seized 1.2 metric tons. By comparison, the United States Government's largest heroin seizure was 490 kg in 1991. With heroin demand potentially open-ended and heroin availability unlikely to be seriously diminished, in the twenty-first century we can expect to see a continuing flow of the drug to nearly every country on the globe.

The drug trade is clearly anticipating growing market demand in North America. The Colombian drug syndicates have committed substantial resources to heroin production, most, if not all, of it destined for North America. Over the past four years there has been a shift in heroin supply patterns to the United States. Colombian and Mexican heroin have displaced Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin in much of the United States. While some Southeast heroin continues to flow to U.S. markets in undetermined quantities via Canada and by international mail, the bulk of the heroin seized and identified by United States Government agencies in 1999 was of Colombian and Mexican provenance. Most of the heroin seized by United States Government law enforcement agencies in 1999 east of the Mississippi River was of Colombian origin. West of the Mississippi, Mexican heroin dominated seizures. Since the big drug syndicates are in effect large multinational criminal organizations that carefully follow drug demand patterns and plan their operations accordingly, it appears that these syndicates may be counting on rising heroin consumption in the younger generation to keep them in business

Source and Transit Country Highlights

A second year of unfavorable growing conditions in 1999 reduced opium cultivation in the Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia by 29 percent to 112,135 hectares, the lowest level since 1988. The decline was significant in Burma, which produced approximately 50 percent of the world's illegal opium. Burma's crop fell by 31 percent to 89,500 hectares, the smallest crop since the explosion of poppy cultivation in 1988. Burma's crop could potentially yield 1,090 metric tons of opium, convertible to 109 metric tons of heroin, enough to supply much of the world's demand. In 1999, opium poppy cultivation in Laos fell by 16 percent to 21,800 hectares, potentially yielding 140 metric tons of opium, or 14 metric tons of heroin. That is approximately 11 percent of the region's estimated output. Already marginal production in Thailand further plummeted by 38 percent to 835 hectares, capable of yielding six metric tons of opium gum or one ton of heroin, less than a fraction of one percent of Southeast Asian potential production. In Vietnam, poppy cultivation dropped by more than 30 percent to an estimated 2,100 hectares, a new low for the country. Potential yields were 11 metric tons of opium or slightly over a metric ton of heroin.

In Southwest Asia, total poppy cultivation rose by 19 percent in 1999 to 53,570 hectares. The estimated yield rose from 1,350 metric tons of opium gum in 1998 to 1,670 in 1999. All of the increase occurred in Afghanistan, which thanks to very high yields per hectare is now the world's leading source of illicit opium gum. The Afghan crop was at an all-time high of 51,500 hectares, a 23 percent increase. In contrast, opium poppy cultivation in Pakistan was at an all-time low of 1,570 hectares, having fallen 48 percent below the 1998 figure of 3,030 hectares. Government of Pakistan initiatives played an important role in this decline. In 1999, Pakistani authorities tripled their opium seizures to 11.5 metric tons and increased their heroin seizures by 57 percent to nearly four metric tons.

Any increase in Southwest Asian heroin production is especially bad news for Europe. Afghanistan furnishes most of the heroin that has been flooding European cities for years. Heroin moves to Europe along the so-called Balkan Route, a series of overland routes out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. After passing through Turkey, it splits into several branches. The northern route carries heroin to Romania, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and points north. The southern branch crosses through Croatia, Slovenia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Albania to the countries of Western Europe. Every country along the route now faces serious domestic drug problems. Turkish drug syndicates, with distributors in ethnic enclaves in a large number of European cities, dominate most of the Balkan Route commerce. In Italy, Albanian traffickers control much of the heroin trade.

Russian criminal organizations also play an increasingly evident role in drug trafficking in Europe and Central Asia. Many of these gangs--often controlled by Russian ethnic minorities from the Caucasus--survived even under the Soviet regime. Thus they entered post-Soviet Europe with the advantage of criminal expertise, contacts, and established smuggling and distribution networks. With the head start of heroin sources developed during the Soviet Union's war with Afghanistan, the Russian gangs are now a major factor in the European drug trade. They use their networks to transport Southwest Asian heroin through Central Asia to Russia, as well as onward to the Baltics and Western Europe.

Russia itself is now suffering serious addiction problems. Government authorities put the number of addicts at about two million, although the figure could well be higher. According to the Russian press sources, the Interior Ministry has noted a continuing increase in the growth rate of hard drug addiction. Opium, heroin, cocaine, and synthetic drugs are taking the place of crude traditional narcotics such as poppy straw extract.

Geography and history make Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, formerly important poppy growing regions for the Soviet Union, natural conduits for much of the drug traffic in Russia. Kazakhstan provides a bridge for Southeast Asian heroin to move to Europe and Russia from Asia. The other countries offer profitable access routes for Southwest Asian, especially Afghan, heroin into Russia, the New Independent States, and Europe. Heroin, which fetches high prices in Russia and Europe, has been a tempting source of cash to finance the civil wars in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Just as Colombian and Mexican traffickers dominate the cocaine trade, Nigerian criminal organizations control a large part of the world's heroin traffic. Nigeria continues to be Africa's most important heroin distribution hub. Nigerian drug couriers dominate the international heroin smuggling trade and are the principal means of smuggling heroin into the United States. There is a hardly a country in the world that does not report arrests of Nigerians for heroin trafficking. They surface in Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and in every country in Europe. Though the Government of Nigeria has taken radical steps to suppress the endemic corruption that facilitates drug trafficking, the heroin smuggling organizations are so well entrenched that they are likely to remain the principal international conduits for the drug.

With a poppy crop responsible for less than four percent of the world's opium production, Colombia is nonetheless the Western Hemisphere's largest grower of opium poppies. High purity Colombian heroin now accounts for much of the heroin in the eastern United States. Colombian opium poppy cultivation in 1999 increased by 23 percent to 7,500 hectares capable of producing 750 metric tons of opium gum or nearly eight tons of heroin.

After Colombia, Mexico is the largest opium producer in the Western Hemisphere. It currently supplies the bulk of the heroin flowing to states west of the Mississippi. In 1999, Mexican government eradication efforts were remarkably successful. They cut opium poppy cultivation by a third to 3,600 hectares, the lowest level since 1992. This crop could potentially have yielded 43 metric tons of opium gum or slightly over four metric tons of heroin. In 1999, Mexican authorities seized 214 kilograms of heroin and three quarters of a metric ton of opium gum, a new record for the country.

International Organizations

International organizational efforts continue to be a key component of the overall U.S. counternarcotics strategy. Through multilateral organizations the United States has the opportunity to multiply contributions from other donors and decrease the erroneous perception that drugs are exclusively a U.S. problem. The U.S. participation in multilateral programs also supports indigenous capabilities in regions where the U.S. is unable to operate bilaterally for political or logistical reasons. Moreover, the U.S. contributions to UNDCP have had significant impact on the operations and expansion of UN counternarcotics programs and policy. In 1999, Andorra and Indonesia became parties to the 1988 UN Convention.

In 1999, OAS/CICAD, with United States Government participation, worked to develop the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), a hemispheric peer review system to evaluate each OAS Member State's anti-drug strategies and efforts. The MEM, which was mandated by the 1998 Summit of the Americas, was negotiated over an 18 month period by an Inter-governmental Working Group (IWG), and was completed at the August IWG session in Ottawa. The OAS formally approved the MEM in October, 1999 and will produce its first evaluations during 2000.

Demand Reduction

Drug "demand reduction" refers to efforts to reduce world-wide use and abuse of, and demand for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. The need for demand reduction is obvious, since escalating drug use and abuse continue to take a devastating toll on the health, welfare, safety, security, and economic stability of all nations. As a result, foreign countries are requesting more technical assistance from the United States Government to address their demand problems, citing long-term U.S. experience and efforts in this area. Assisting countries to reduce drug consumption helps in a small, but important way, to preserve the stability of that country.

Our demand reduction strategy integrates a broad spectrum of initiatives. These include efforts to prevent the onset of use, intervention at "critical decision points" in the lives of vulnerable populations to prevent both first use and further use, and effective treatment programs for the addicted. Other aspects encompass education and media campaigns to increase public awareness of the deleterious consequences of drug use/abuse and community-coalition building. This latter effort involves the development of private/public sector demand reduction coalitions designed to mobilize national and international opinion against the drug trade and to encourage governments to develop and implement strong counternarcotics policies and programs. The demand reduction program also provides for evaluations of the effectiveness of these efforts and for research studies to use these findings to improve similar services provided in the U.S.

In 1999, INL fostered the development of the first-ever international network of drug prevention programs with over 400 representatives from 44 countries at an international prevention summit in Bangkok. At the same time, INL worked with NGOs to enhance the Drug Prevention Network of the Americas (DPNA), a coalition of prevention programs from Canada, the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America. A complementary network of 3,000 Latin American treatment programs was also significantly enhanced. Developing countries that were the recipients of INL-funded training and technical assistance continued to self-fund their own programs developed from this assistance. Of particular note, Thailand and the Philippines developed millions-of-dollars worth of correctional-based drug intervention programs following INL-funded training. In 1999, multi-year studies were initiated on INL-funded pilot projects and programs developed from INL-funded training to learn how these initiatives can help assist U.S.-based demand reduction efforts. Preliminary results indicate that projects for high-risk youth in Peru and Brazil are evidencing high program retention rates and reduced rates of violence and recidivism.

Chemical Control

Chemical diversion control is a proactive and straightforward strategy to deny traffickers the chemicals they must have to manufacture illicit drugs. It involves the regulation of licit commerce in the chemicals most necessary for drug manufacture to ensure that only transactions for which legitimate end-uses have been established are permitted to proceed, thereby preventing the diversion of drug-producing chemicals from licit trade to illicit drug manufacture.

The need for chemical control has been internationally accepted. Article 12 of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988 UN Drug Convention) establishes the obligation for parties to the Convention to control their chemical commerce to prevent diversion to illicit drug manufacture. The two tables of the Annex to the Convention list 22 chemicals as those most necessary for drug manufacture and, therefore, subject to control.

The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board has a central role in the implementation of international chemical control initiatives.

The essential element of effective international chemical control is rapid multilateral exchange of information between competent national authorities on proposed transactions in regulated chemicals in order to identify and stop or seize those shipments involving chemicals likely to be diverted to illicit drug manufacture. National control systems alone cannot prevent diversion. The United States Government continues to seek the establishment of formal and informal mechanisms for this information exchange.

An obstacle to more effective implementation of chemical control regimes as part of a comprehensive counternarcotics strategy is the proclivity of many governments to consider chemical control as a trade issue to be handled by trade ministries/agencies with a bias toward promoting, not regulating, trade. This leads to a reluctance to participate in the multilateral information exchange initiatives required for effective chemical control out of concern for commercial confidentiality.

There needs to be greater involvement of law enforcement agencies in the implementation of chemical control regimes. Regulatory agencies need to accept that chemical control can be effectively achieved without harm to indigenous commercial interests, and that law enforcement agencies have an essential role in its implementation. When implementation of chemical control regimes is restrained by commercial concerns, criminals can more easily obtain the chemicals they require for illicit drug manufacture, hindering international cooperative efforts against criminal drug trafficking.

Methodology for Estimating Illegal Drug Production

How Much Do We Know? The INCSR contains tables showing a variety of illicit narcotics-related data. These numbers represent the United States Government's best effort to sketch the dimensions of the international drug problem at this time, but the image is less precise than we would like it to be. The numbers range from cultivation figures, relatively hard data derived by proven means, to crop production and drug yield estimates, figures that become softer as more variables come into play. As in previous years, we publish these data with an important caveat: the yield figures are potential, not final numbers. Although they are useful for determining trends, they are ultimately approximations.

Each year, as we get better data through field research, we revise our estimates. This type of field research is far from easy. The clandestine, violent nature of the illegal drug trade makes it difficult to develop precise information. At the same time, the harsh terrain on which many drugs are cultivated is not always easily accessible This is particularly relevant given the tremendous geographic areas that must be covered, and the difficulty of collecting reliable information over diverse and treacherous terrain.

What We Know With Reasonable Certainty. The most reliable information we have on illicit drugs is how many hectares are under cultivation during any given year. For a decade and a half, the United States Government has estimated the extent of illicit cultivation in a dozen nations using proven statistical methods similar to those used to estimate the size of licit crops at home and abroad. We can therefore estimate the area under cultivation with reasonable accuracy.

What We Know With Less Certainty. The picture is less clear where crop yields are concerned. How much of a finished product a given area will produce is difficult to estimate. Small changes in factors such as soil fertility, weather, farming techniques, and disease can produce widely varying results from year to year and place to place. Moreover, most illicit drug crop areas are not easily accessible to the United States Government, making scientific information difficult to obtain. Again, we are estimating potential crop available for harvest. Not all of these estimates allow for losses, which could represent up to a third or more of a crop in some areas for some harvests. The value in estimating the size of the potential crop is to provide a consistent basis for a comparative analysis from year to year.

Since cocaine remains at the top of the United States Government's drug-control priority list, we have gradually improved our yield estimates. Our confidence in coca leaf yield estimates, as well as in the finished product, has risen in the past few years, based upon the results of field studies conducted in Latin America. Eight years ago, after completing preliminary research, the United States Government for the first time began to make its own estimate of dry coca leaf yields for Bolivia and Peru instead of relying solely on reports from the governments of those countries. This year we are at last able to estimate coca yields in Colombia. Additional research and field studies have helped refine these estimates and make similar improvements possible in estimates of other drug crops. In all cases, multiplying average yields times available hectarage indicates only the potential, not the actual final drug crop available for harvest.

Harvest Estimates. Estimating how much coca leaf, opium gum, and cannabis is actually harvested and available for processing into finished narcotics remains a major challenge. Although we are improving our techniques, at this time we cannot accurately estimate this amount with precision for any illicit crop in any nation.

While farmers naturally have strong incentives to maximize their harvests of what is almost always their most profitable cash crop, the harvest depends upon the efficiency of farming practices and the wastage caused by poor practices or difficult weather conditions during and after harvest. Up to a third or more of a crop may be lost in some areas during harvests.

In addition, mature coca (two to six years old), is more productive than immature or aging coca. Variations such as these can dramatically affect potential yield and production. Additional information and analysis is allowing us to make adjustments for these factors. Similar deductions for local consumption of unprocessed coca leaf and opium may be possible as well through the accumulation of additional information and research.

Processing Estimates. The wide variation in processing efficiency achieved by traffickers complicates the task of estimating the quantity of cocaine or heroin that could be refined from a crop. These variations occur because of differences in the origin and quality of the raw material used, the technical processing method employed, the size and sophistication of laboratories, the skill and experience of local workers and chemists, and decisions made in response to enforcement pressures. (See Yield Estimates below.)

Figures Change as Techniques and Data Quality Improve. Each year, research produces revisions to United States Government estimates of potential drug production. This is typical of annualized figures for most other areas of statistical tracking that must be revised year to year , whether it be the size of the U.S. wheat crop, population figures, or the unemployment rate. For the present, however, these statistics represent the state of the art. As new information becomes available and as the art improves, so will the precision of the estimates.

Status of Potential Worldwide Production

In evaluating the figures below, one must bear in mind that they are theoretical. They represent estimates of potential production--the amounts that the United States Government estimates could have been produced if, and only if, all available crops were to be converted into finished drugs. Since these estimates do not always make allowance for losses, actual production is probably lower than our estimates. The figures shown are mean points in a statistical range.

Potential Opium Production. In Southeast Asia, for the third year in row, estimated opium cultivation and production in the Golden Triangle countries fell. In 1999, total cultivation fell by 29 percent, while yield fell by 35 percent. According to United States Government estimates, in 1999, growers in Burma, Laos, and Thailand cultivated an estimated 112,135 hectares of opium poppy, potentially producing 1,236 metric tons of opium. Burma's production accounts for 80 percent of this amount, down from 95 percent in 1998. In Burma, estimated opium poppy cultivation fell by 31 percent to 89,500 hectares from the 130,300 hectares reported for 1998. Estimated yield fell to 1,090 metric tons of opium gum for 1999, a 38 percent drop from 1,750 metric tons in 1998. Weather conditions were largely responsible for the decrease in the crop. In Laos, a 16 percent drop in estimated cultivation brought the estimated crop down to 21,800 hectares, down from the 26,100 hectare figure for 1998; estimated production, however, remained at 140 metric tons. Estimated opium poppy cultivation in Thailand again fell dramatically by approximately 38 percent to 835 hectares from the 1,350 hectares observed last year. Thailand had an estimated potential production of six metric tons--62 percent less than the 16 metric tons estimated in 1998. In 1999, the United States Government's fourth survey of Vietnam found that the crop had fallen by 30 percent to 2,100 hectares with a potential yield of 11 metric tons from last year's high of 3,000 hectares of opium poppy cultivation yielding a potential 20 metric tons. The United States Government found no significant opium cultivation in China's Yunnan Province in 1999.

Opium poppy cultivation in Southwest Asia increased by 19 percent in 1999 as a result of greater cultivation in Afghanistan, which has displaced Burma as the leading producer of illicit opium gum. The increase occurred despite a 48 percent drop in Pakistan's opium crop. Total hectarage for Afghanistan and Pakistan rose from 44,750 hectares in 1998 to 53,070 hectares in 1999. Total potential production for both countries rose from 1,415 metric tons to 1,707 metric tons. Afghan hectarage rose from 41,720 hectares in 1998 to 51,000 hectares in 1999, a 22 percent increase. The estimated yield rose by 23 percent from 1,350 metric tons in 1998 to 1,670 metric tons in 1999. Afghanistan alone now potentially produces 34 percent more opium than Asia's Golden Triangle. Pakistan's hectarage decreased 48 percent from 3,030 hectares in 1998 to 1,570 hectares in 1999. Estimated yield dropped 43 percent from 65 metric tons in 1998 to 37 metric tons in 1999.

The United States Government continues to examine the illicit drug crop situation in Russia and the Central Asian. While some of these countries may be able to produce significant opium poppy harvests, the United States Government still lacks sufficient data to identify and measure all suspected areas. Estimates in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in 1998, however, showed cultivation there to be negligible.

In the Western Hemisphere, the opium poppy growing countries have maintained active crop control efforts despite continuing campaigns by criminal organizations to expand the areas under cultivation. In Colombia, United States Government estimates showed a 23 percent increase in 1999 to 7,500 hectares, enough to yield an estimated 7.5 metric tons of opium gum, or a little under eight tons of heroin, assuming no losses. In Mexico, the 1999 opium poppy crop fell 34 percent. After Mexican government eradication operations took out production 7,900 hectares of poppy, there were 3,600 hectares of opium poppy--a near record low for the decade. Assuming no losses, the estimated potential yield was 43 metric tons of opium gum, or slightly over four metric tons of heroin. Guatemala's poppy cultivation remains at minimal levels after government efforts.

Coca Cultivation. Worldwide coca cultivation dropped four percent from last year's 190,800 hectares to 183,000 hectares in 1999. Despite an active eradication program, Colombia experienced an increase in coca cultivation to 122,500 hectares at the end of 1999. In Bolivia, government forces reduced cultivation from 38,000 hectares in 1998 to 21,800 hectares in 1999. Peru's coca crop dropped 24 percent from 51,000 hectares at the end of 1998 to 38,700 hectares at the end of 1999. Some coca is cultivated in inaccessible areas of Brazil, but its extent is unknown. Ecuador has only negligible amounts of coca.

Cocaine Field Estimates

The cocaine yield figure is offered with the same caveat as the crop harvest yield data: it is a figure representing potential production. It does not in every case allow for losses or the many other variables that one would encounter in a "real world" conversion from plant to finished drug. In fact, the amount of cocaine HCL actually making it to market is probably lower. Efficiencies vary greatly. A United States Government team that studied cocaine processing in Bolivia's Chapare region in 1993 found that in the laboratories under observation processing efficiency was lower than previously thought. The estimate for Bolivia was reduced accordingly. The reverse has happened in 1999 with Colombia, where United States Government researchers determined that not only were coca leaf yields were nearly twice as great as previously estimated, but that processing efficiencies allow Colombian traffickers to extract much higher percentages of cocaine alkaloid than previously supposed.

In 1999, taking into account estimates of local consumption and local seizures, the United States Government calculates that if virtually every coca leaf were converted into cocaine HCl, and there were no losses because of inefficiency, bad weather, disease, or the deterrent effects of law enforcement, 765 metric tons of cocaine HCl theoretically could have been available from Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru for worldwide export. This figure includes 175 metric tons potentially available from Peru, 70 metric tons potentially available from Bolivia, and approximately 520 metric tons potentially available from Colombia. In publishing these numbers, we repeat our caveat that these are theoretical numbers, useful for examining trends. Though every year research moves us closer to a more precise cocaine yield estimate for Latin America, we do not yet know for certain the actual amount available for distribution.

Consumption Data

Most of the chapters in this report contain some user or consumption data. For the most part, these are estimates provided by foreign governments or informal estimates by United States Government agencies. There is no way to vouch for their reliability. They are included because they are the only data available and give an approximation of how governments view their own drug abuse problems. They should not be considered as a source of data to develop any reliable consumption estimates.

Marijuana Production

Cannabis cultivation continued to decline in Mexico in 1999 to 3,700 hectares with a potential yield of 6,700 metric tons. The Mexican government took out of production some 19,400 hectares of cannabis in 1999. In Colombia's traditional cannabis growing zones, where intensive eradication in previous years had virtually destroyed the crop, there was a resurgence of cultivation in 1993 to an estimated 5,000 hectares. That estimate did not change in 1999. The size of Jamaica's cannabis crop in 1999 is still under review. We recognize that there may be considerable undetected cannabis cultivation in Central and East Asia, and on the African continent, though there is no evidence that any of this cannabis significantly affects the United States. As we gather more accurate information, we will report significant findings in future INCSRs.

Worldwide Illicit Drug Cultivation
1991-1999 (All Figures in Hectares)

 

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

Opium

                 

Afghanistan

51,500

41,720

39,150

37,950

38,740

29,180

21,080

19,470

17,190

India

150

 

2,050

3,100

4,750

5,500

4,400

   

Iran1

200

               

Pakistan

1,570

3,030

4,100

3,400

6,950

7,270

6,280

8,170

8,205

Total SW Asia

53,420

44,750

45,300

44,450

50,440

41,950

31,760

27,640

25,395

Burma

89,500

130,300

155,150

163,100

154,070

154,070

146,600

153,700

160,000

China

       

1,275

1,965

     

Laos

21,800

26,100

28,150

25,250

19,650

19,650

18,520

25,610

29,625

Thailand

835

1,350

1,650

2,170

1,750

2,110

2,110

2,050

3,000

Total SE Asia

112,135

157,750

184,950

190,250

176,745

177,795

167,230

181,360

192,625

Colombia

7,500

6,100

6,600

6,300

6,540

20,000

20,000

20,000

1,160

Lebanon

90

150

440

na

3,400

Guatemala

       

39

50

438

730

1,145

Mexico

3,600

5,500

4,000

5,100

5,050

5,795

3,960

3,310

3,765

Vietnam

2,100

3,000

6,150

3,150

         

Total Other

13,200

14,600

16,750

14,640

11,779

25,845

24,838

24,040

9,470

Total Opium

178,755

217,100

247,000

249,610

238,964

245,590

223,828

233,040

227,490

Coca

                 

Bolivia

21,800

38,000

45,800

48,100

48,600

48,100

47,200

45,500

47,900

Colombia

122,500

101,800

79,500

67,200

50,900

45,000

39,700

37,100

37,500

Peru

38,700

51,000

68,800

94,400

115,300

108,600

108,800

129,100

120,800

Ecuador

               

40

Total Coca

183,000

190,800

194,100

209,700

214,800

201,700

195,700

211,700

206,240

Cannabis

                 

Mexico

3,700

4,600

4,800

6,500

6,900

10,550

11,220

16,420

17,915

Colombia

5,000

5,000

5,000

5,000

5,000

4,986

5,000

2,000

2,000

Jamaica

   

317

527

305

308

744

389

950

Total Cannabis

8,700

9,600

10,117

12,027

12,205

15,844

16,964

18,809

20,865

 

1 USG surveys in 1998 revealed no cultivation of opium in Iran's traditional growing areas.

Worldwide Illicit Drug Cultivation
1987-1990 (All Figures in Hectares)

 

1990

1989

1988

1987

Opium

       

Afghanistan

12,370

18,650

23,000

18,500

India

       

Iran

       

Pakistan

8,220

6,050

11,588

9,970

Total SW Asia

20,590

24,700

34,588

28,470

Burma

150,100

143,000

104,200

76,021

China

       

Laos

30,580

42,130

40,400

 

Thailand

3,435

4,075

2,843

2,934

Total SE Asia

184,185

189,205

147,443

78,955

Colombia

       

Lebanon

3,200

4,500

na

na

Guatemala

845

1,220

710

 

Mexico

5,450

6,600

5,001

5,160

Vietnam

       

Total Other

9,495

12,320

5,711

5,160

Total Opium

214,200

226,225

187,742

112,585

Coca

       

Bolivia

50,300

52,900

48,900

41,300

Colombia

40,100

42,400

34,000

25,600

Peru

121,300

120,400

110,400

108,800

Ecuador

120

150

240

300

Total Coca

211,820

215,850

193,540

176,000

Cannabis

       

Mexico

35,050

53,900

5,003

5,250

Colombia

1,500

2,270

4,188

5,005

Jamaica

1,220

280

607

680

Total Cannabis

37,770

56,450

9,798

10,935

Worldwide Potential Illicit Drug Production
1991-1999 (All Figures in Metric Tons)

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

1991

Opium Gum

Afghanistan

1,670

1,350

1,265

1,230

1,250

950

685

640

570

India

30

47

77

90

Iran

Pakistan

37

65

85

75

155

160

140

175

180

Total SW Asia

1,707

1,415

1,380

1,352

1,482

1,200

825

815

750

Burma

1,090

1,750

2,365

2,560

2,340

2,030

2,575

2,280

2,350

China

19

25

Laos

140

140

210

200

180

85

180

230

265

Thailand

6

16

25

30

25

17

42

24

35

Total SE Asia

1,236

1,906

2,600

2,790

2,564

2,157

2,797

2,534

2,650

Colombia

75

61

66

63

65

Lebanon

1

1

4

34

Guatemala

11

Mexico

43

60

46

54

53

60

49

40

41

Vietnam

11

20

45

25

Total Other

129

141

157

143

119

60

53

40

86

Total Opium

3,072

3,462

4,137

4,285

4,165

3,417

3,675

3,389

3,486

Coca Leaf

Bolivia

22,800

52,900

70,100

75,100

85,000

89,800

84,400

80,300

78,000

Colombia1

521,400

437,600

347,000

302,900

229,300

35,800

31,700

29,600

30,000

Peru

69,200

95,600

130,200

174,700

183,600

165,300

155,500

223,900

222,700

Ecuador

100

100

40

Total Coca

613,400

586,100

547,300

552,700

497,900

290,900

271,700

333,900

330,740

Cannabis

Mexico2

3,700

8,300

8,600

11,700

12,400

5,540

6,280

7,795

7,775

Colombia

4,000

4,000

4,133

4,133

4,133

4,138

4,125

1,650

1,650

Jamaica

214

356

206

208

502

263

641

Belize

49

Others

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

3,500

Total Cannabis

11,200

15,800

16,447

19,689

20,239

13,386

14,407

13,208

13,615

1 Colombia's coca leaf production figures for 1995-98 were revised upward in 1999. See "Methodology for Estimating Illegal Production" in this section.

2 Mexico's cannabis production figures for 1995-98 were revised upward in 1999.

Worldwide Potential Illicit Drug Production
1987-1990 (All Figures in Metric Tons)

1990

1989

1988

1987

Opium Gum

Afghanistan

415

585

750

600

India

Iran

300

Pakistan

165

130

205

205

Total SW Asia

580

715

955

1,105

Burma

2,255

2,430

1,280

835

China

Laos

275

380

255

225

Thailand

40

50

25

24

Total SE Asia

2,570

2,860

1,560

1,084

Colombia

Lebanon

32

45

Guatemala

13

12

8

3

Mexico

62

66

67

50

Vietnam

Total Other

107

123

75

53

Total Opium

3,257

3,698

2,590

2,242

Coca Leaf

Bolivia

77,000

78,200

79,500

79,200

Colombia

32,100

33,900

27,200

20,500

Peru

196,900

186,300

187,700

191,000

Ecuador

170

270

400

400

Total Coca

306,170

298,670

294,800

291,100

Cannabis

Mexico

19,715

30,200

5,655

5,933

Colombia

1,500

2,800

7,775

5,600

Jamaica

825

190

405

460

Belize

60

65

120

200

Others

3,500

3,500

3,500

1,500

Total Cannabis

25,600

36,755

17,455

13,693

Parties to the 1988 UN Convention

Country

Date Signed

Date Became a Party

1. Afghanistan

20 December 1988

14 February 1992

2. Algeria

20 December 1988

5 May 1995

3. Andorra

Accession

23 July 1999

4. Antigua and Barbuda

Accession

5 April 1993

5. Armenia

20 December 1988

28 June 1993

6. Argentina

Accession

13 September 1993

7. Australia

14 February 1989

16 November 1992

8. Austria

25 September 1989

11 July 1997

9. Azerbaijan

Accession

22 September 1993

10. Bahamas

20 December 1988

30 January 1989

11. Bahrain

28 September 1989

7 February 1990

12. Bangladesh

14 April 1989

11 October 1990

13. Barbados

Accession

15 October 1992

14. Belarus

27 February 1989

15 October 1990

15. Belgium

22 May 1989

25 October 1995

16. Belize

Accession

24 July 1996

17. Benin

Accession

23 May 1997

18. Bhutan

Accession

27 August 1990

19. Bolivia

20 December 1988

20 August 1990

20. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Succession

01 September 1993

21. Botswana

Accession

13 August 1996

22. Brazil

20 December 1988

17 July 1991

23. Brunei Darussalam

26 October 1989

12 November 1993

24. Bulgaria

19 May 1989

24 September 1992

25. Burkina Faso

Accession

02 June 1992

26. Burma

Ratified

11 June 1991

27. Burundi

Accession

18 February 1993

28. Cameroon

27 February 1989

28 October 1991

29. Canada

20 December 1988

05 July 1990

30. Cape Verde

Accession

08 May 1995

31. Chad

Accession

09 June 1995

32. Chile

20 December 1988

13 March 1990

33. China

20 December 1988

25 October 1989

34. Colombia

20 December 1988

10 June 1994

35. Costa Rica

25 April 1989

8 February 1991

36. Cote d'Ivoire

20 December 1988

25 November 1991

37. Croatia

Succession

26 July 1993

38. Cuba

7 April 1989

12 June 1996

39. Cyprus

20 December 1988

25 May 1990

40. Czech Republic

Succession

30 December 1993

41. Denmark

20 December 1988

19 December 1991

42. Dominica

Accession

30 June 1993

43. Dominican Republic

Accession

21 September 1993

44. European Economic Community

8 June 1989

31 December 1990

45. Ecuador

21 June 1988

23 March 1990

46. Egypt

20 December 1988

15 March 1991

47. El Salvador

Accession

21 May 1993

48. Ethiopia

Accession

11 October 1994

49. Fiji

Accession

25 March 1993

50. Finland

8 February 1989

15 February 1994

51. France

13 February 1989

31 December 1990

52. Gambia

Accession

23 April 1996

53. Germany

19 January 1989

30 November 1993

54. Georgia

Accession

8 January 1998

55. Ghana

20 December 1988

10 April 1990

56. Greece

23 February 1989

28 January 1992

57. Grenada

Accession

10 December 1990

58. Guatemala

20 December 1988

28 February 1991

59. Guinea

Accession

27 December 1990

60. Guyana

Accession

19 March 1993

61. Haiti

Accession

18 September 1995

62. Honduras

20 December 1988

11 December 1991

63. Hungary

22 August 1989

15 November 1996

64. Iceland

Accession

2 September 1997

65. India

Accession

27 March 1990

66. Indonesia

27 March 1989

23 February 1999

67. Iran

20 December 1988

7 December 1992

68. Iraq

Accession

22 July 1998

69. Ireland

14 December 1989

3 September 1996

70)Italy

20 December 1988

31 December 1990

71. Jamaica

2 October 1989

29 December 1995

72. Japan

19 December 1989

12 June 1992

73. Jordan

20 December 1988

16 April 1990

74. Kazakhstan

Accession

29 April 1997

75. Kenya

Accession

19 October 1992

76. Korea

Accession

28 December 1998

77. Kyrgyzstan

Accession

7 October 1994

78. Latvia

Accession

24 February 1994

79. Lesotho

Accession

28 March 1995

80. Lebanon

Accession

11 March 1996

81. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Accession

22 July 1996

82. Lithuania

Accession

8 June 1998

83. Luxembourg

26 September 1989

29 April 1992

84. Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Rep.

Accession

18 October 1993

85. Madagascar

Accession

12 March 1991

86. Malaysia

20 December 1988

11 May 1993

87. Malawi

Accession

12 October 1995

88. Mali

Accession

31 October 1995

89. Malta

Accession

28 February 1996

90. Mauritania

Accession

1 July 1993

91)91. Mexico

16 February 1989

11 April 1990

92. Moldova

Accession

19 February 1995

93. Monaco

24 February 1989

23 April 1991

94. Morocco

28 December 1988

28 October 1992

95. Mozambique

Accession

8 June 1998

96. Nepal

Accession

24 July 1991

97. Netherlands

18 January 1992

8 September 1993

98. Nicaragua

20 December 1988

4 May 1990

99. Niger

Accession

10 November 1992

100. Nigeria

1 March 1989

1 November 1989

101. Norway

20 December 1988

1 January 1994

102. Oman

Accession

15 March 1991

103. Pakistan

20 December 1988

25 October 1991

104. Panama

20 December 1988

13 January 1994

105. Paraguay

20 December 1988

23 August 1990

106. Peru

20 December 1988

16 January 1992

107. Philippines

20 December 1988

7 June 1996

108. Poland

6 March 1989

26 May 1994

109. Portugal

13 December 1989

3 December 1991

110. Qatar

Accession

4 May 1990

111. Romania

Accession

21 January 1993

112. Russia

19 January 1989

17 December 1990

113. St. Kitts and Nevis

Accession

19 April 1995

114. St. Lucia

Accession

21 August 1995

115. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Accession

17 May 1994

116. Sao Tome and Principe

Accession

20 June 1996

117. Saudi Arabia

Accession

9 January 1992

118. Senegal

20 December 1988

27 November 1989

119. Seychelles

Accession

27 February 1992

120. Sierra Leone

9 June 1989

6 June 1994

121. Singapore

Accession

23 October 1997

122. Slovakia

Succession

28 May 1993

123. Slovenia

Succession

6 July 1992

124. South Africa

Accession

14 December 1998

125. Spain

20 December 1988

13 August 1990

126. Sri Lanka

Accession

6 June 1991

127. Sudan

30 January 1989

19 November 1993

128. Suriname

20 December 1988

28 October 1992

129. Swaziland

Accession

3 October 95

130. Sweden

20 December 1988

22 July 1991

131. Syria

Accession

3 September 1991

132. Tajikistan

Accession

6 May 1996

133. Tanzania

20 December 1988

17 April 1996

134. Trinidad and Tobago

7 December 1989

17 February 1995

135. Togo

3 August 1989

1 August 1990

136. Tonga

Accession

29 April 1996

137. Tunisia

19 December 1989

20 September 1990

138. Turkey

20 December 1988

2 April 1996

139. Turkmenistan

Accession

21 February 1996

140. UAE

Accession

12 April 1990

141. Uganda

Accession

20 August 1990

142. Ukraine

16 March 1989

28 August 1991

143. United Kingdom

20 December 1988

28 June 1991

144. United States

20 December 1988

20 February 1990

145. Uruguay

19 December 1989

10 March 1995

146. Uzbekistan

Accession

14 August 1995

147. Venezuela

20 December 1988

16 July 1991

148. Vietnam

Accession

4 November 1997

149. Yemen

20 December 1988

25 March 1996

150. Yugoslavia

20 December 1988

3 January 1991

151. Zambia

9 February 1989

28 May 1993

152. Zimbabwe

    Accession

    30 July 1993

         

    Signed but Pending Ratification

       
    1. Gabon

    20 December 1989

     
    2. Holy See

    20 December 1988

    Not UN member

    3. Israel

    20 December 1988

    Awaiting Money Laundering Legislation

    4. Kuwait

    2 October 1989

     
    5. Maldives

    5 December 1989

     
    6. Mauritius

    20 December 1988

     
    7. New Zealand

    18 December 1989

     
    8. Philippines

    20 December 1988

     
    9. Switzerland

    16 November 1989

    Not UN member

    10. Zaire

      20 December 1988

       
           

      Other

         
      1. Anguilla  

      Not UN member

      2. Aruba  

      Not UN member

      3. Bermuda    
      4. BVI  

      Not UN member

      5. Cambodia    
      6.Central African Republic    
      7. Chad    
      8. Comoros    
      9. Congo    
      10. Djibouti    
      11. DPR Korea    
      12. Estonia    
      13. Hong Kong  

      Not UN member

      14. Laos    
      15. Liberia    
      16. Liechtenstein    
      17. Marshall Islands    
      18. Micronesia, Federated States of    
      19. Mongolia    
      20. Namibia    
      21. Papua New Guinea    
      22. Samoa    
      23. San Marino    
      24. Sao Tome and Principe    
      25. Taiwan  

      Not UN member

      26. Thailand    
      27. Turks & Caicos  

      Not UN member

      28. Vanuatu    
      [End.]



      Back to Top
      Sign-in

      Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

      OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.