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Diplomacy in Action

2012 INCSR: Introduction


Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Report
March 7, 2012

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Legislative Basis for the INCSR

The Department of State’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) has been prepared in accordance with section 489 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (the "FAA," 22 U.S.C. § 2291). The 2012 INCSR, published in March 2012, covers the year January 1 to December 31, 2011 and is published in two volumes, the second of which covers money laundering and financial crimes. In addition to addressing the reporting requirements of section 489 of the FAA (as well as sections 481(d)(2) and 484(c) of the FAA and section 804 of the Narcotics Control Trade Act of 1974, as amended), the INCSR provides the factual basis for the designations contained in the President’s report to Congress on the major drug-transit or major illicit drug producing countries initially set forth in section 591 of the Kenneth M. Ludden Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2002 (P.L. 107-115) (the "FOAA"), and now made permanent pursuant to section 706 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (P.L. 107-228) (the "FRAA").

Section 706 of the FRAA requires that the President submit an annual report no later than September 15 identifying each country determined by the President to be a major drug-transit country or major illicit drug producing country. The President is also required in that report to identify any country on the majors list that has "failed demonstrably . . . to make substantial efforts" during the previous 12 months to adhere to international counternarcotics agreements and to take certain counternarcotics measures set forth in U.S. law. U.S. assistance under the current foreign operations appropriations act may not be provided to any country designated as having "failed demonstrably" unless the President determines that the provision of such assistance is vital to U.S. national interests or that the country, at any time after the President’s initial report to Congress, has made "substantial efforts" to comply with the counternarcotics conditions in the legislation. This prohibition does not affect humanitarian, counternarcotics, and certain other types of assistance that are authorized to be provided notwithstanding any other provision of law.

The FAA requires a report on the extent to which each country or entity that received assistance under chapter 8 of Part I of the Foreign Assistance Act in the past two fiscal years has "met the goals and objectives of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances" (the "1988 UN Drug Convention"). FAA § 489(a)(1)(A).

Several years ago, pursuant to The Combat Methamphetamine Enforcement Act (CMEA) (The USA Patriot Improvement and Reauthorization Act 2005, Title VII, P.L. 109-177), amending sections 489 and 490 of the Foreign Assistance Act (22 USC 2291h and 2291) section 722, the INCSR was expanded to include reporting on the five countries that export the largest amounts of methamphetamine precursor chemicals, as well as the five countries importing the largest amounts of these chemicals and which have the highest rate of diversion of the chemicals for methamphetamine production. This expanded reporting, which also appears in this year’s INCSR and will appear in each subsequent annual INCSR report, also includes additional information on efforts to control methamphetamine precursor chemicals, as well as estimates of legitimate demand for these methamphetamine precursors, prepared by most parties to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and submitted to the International Narcotics Control Board. The CMEA also requires a Presidential determination by March 1 of each year on whether the five countries that legally exported and the five countries that legally imported the largest amount of precursor chemicals (under FAA section 490) have cooperated with the United States to prevent these substances from being used to produce methamphetamine or have taken adequate steps on their own to achieve full compliance with the 1988 UN Drug Control Convention. This determination may be exercised by the Secretary of State pursuant to Executive Order 12163 and by the Deputy Secretary of State pursuant to State Department Delegation of Authority 245.

Although the Convention does not contain a list of goals and objectives, it does set forth a number of obligations that the parties agree to undertake. Generally speaking, it requires the parties to take legal measures to outlaw and punish all forms of illicit drug production, trafficking, and drug money laundering, to control chemicals that can be used to process illicit drugs, and to cooperate in international efforts to these ends. The statute lists actions by foreign countries on the following issues as relevant to evaluating performance under the 1988 UN Drug Convention: illicit cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport and financing, and money laundering, asset seizure, extradition, mutual legal assistance, law enforcement and transit cooperation, precursor chemical control, and demand reduction.

In attempting to evaluate whether countries and certain entities are meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the Department has used the best information it has available. The 2012 INCSR covers countries that range from major drug producing and drug-transit countries, where drug control is a critical element of national policy, to small countries or entities where drug issues or the capacity to deal with them are minimal. The reports vary in the extent of their coverage. For key drug-control countries, where considerable information is available, we have provided comprehensive reports. For some smaller countries or entities where only limited information is available, we have included whatever data the responsible post could provide.

The country chapters report upon actions taken - including plans, programs, and, where applicable, timetables - toward fulfillment of Convention obligations. Because the 1988 UN Drug Convention’s subject matter is so broad and availability of information on elements related to performance under the Convention varies widely within and among countries, the Department’s views on the extent to which a given country or entity is meeting the goals and objectives of the Convention are based on the overall response of the country or entity to those goals and objectives. Reports will often include discussion of foreign legal and regulatory structures. Although the Department strives to provide accurate information, this report should not be used as the basis for determining legal rights or obligations under U.S. or foreign law.

Some countries and other entities are not yet parties to the 1988 UN Drug Convention; some do not have status in the United Nations and cannot become parties. For such countries or entities, we have nonetheless considered actions taken by those countries or entities in areas covered by the Convention as well as plans (if any) for becoming parties and for bringing their legislation into conformity with the Convention’s requirements. Other countries have taken reservations, declarations, or understandings to the 1988 UN Drug Convention or other relevant treaties; such reservations, declarations, or understandings are generally not detailed in this report. For some of the smallest countries or entities that have not been designated by the President as major illicit drug producing or major drug-transit countries, the Department has insufficient information to make a judgment as to whether the goals and objectives of the Convention are being met. Unless otherwise noted in the relevant country chapters, the Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) considers all countries and other entities with which the United States has bilateral narcotics agreements to be meeting the goals and objectives of those agreements.

Information concerning counternarcotics assistance is provided, pursuant to section 489(b) of the FAA, in section entitled "U.S. Government Assistance."

Major Illicit Drug Producing, Drug-Transit, Significant Source, Precursor Chemical, and Money Laundering Countries

Section 489(a)(3) of the FAA requires the INCSR to identify:

 (A) major illicit drug producing and major drug-transit countries;

(B) major sources of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics; or

(C) major money laundering countries.

These countries are identified below.

Major Illicit Drug Producing and Major Drug-Transit Countries

A major illicit drug producing country is one in which:

(A) 1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium poppy is cultivated or harvested during a year;

(B) 1,000 hectares or more of illicit coca is cultivated or harvested during a year; or

(C) 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year, unless the President determines that such illicit cannabis production does not significantly affect the United States. FAA § 481(e)(2).

A major drug-transit country is one:

(A) that is a significant direct source of illicit narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances significantly affecting the United States; or

(B) through which are transported such drugs or substances. FAA § 481(e)(5).

The following major illicit drug producing and/or drug-transit countries were identified and notified to Congress by the President on September 15, 2011, consistent with section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228):

Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Of these 20 countries, Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela were designated by the President as having “failed demonstrably” during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and take the measures set forth in section 489(a)(1) of the FAA. The President determined, however, in accordance with provisions of Section 706(3)(A) of the FRAA, that continued support for bilateral programs in Bolivia and limited programs in Venezuela are vital to the national interests of the United States.

Major Precursor Chemical Source Countries

The following countries and jurisdictions have been identified to be major sources of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics:

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Information is provided pursuant to section 489 of the FAA in the section entitled "Chemical Controls."

Major Money Laundering Countries

A major money laundering country is defined by statute as one "whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking." FAA § 481(e)(7). However, the complex nature of money laundering transactions today makes it difficult in many cases to distinguish the proceeds of narcotics trafficking from the proceeds of other serious crime. Moreover, financial institutions engaging in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds of other serious crime are vulnerable to narcotics-related money laundering. This year’s list of major money laundering countries recognizes this relationship by including all countries and other jurisdictions, whose financial institutions engage in transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from all serious crime. The following countries/jurisdictions have been identified this year in this category:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Somalia, Spain, St. Maarten, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

Further information on these countries/jurisdictions and United States money laundering policies, as required by section 489 of the FAA, is set forth in Volume II of the INCSR in the section entitled "Money Laundering and Financial Crimes."


Presidential Determination

THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON

September 15, 2011
Presidential Determination No. 2011-16

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT: Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2012

Pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (FRAA), I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

A country's presence on the Majors List is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government's counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States. Consistent with the statutory definition of a major drug transit or drug producing country set forth in section 481(e) (2) and (5) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA), one of the reasons that major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced despite the concerned government's most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures.

Pursuant to section 706(2) (A) of the FRAA, I hereby designate Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela as countries that have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to make substantial efforts to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and take the measures set forth in section 489(a) (1) of the FAA. Accompanying this report are justifications for the determinations on Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, as required by section 706(2) (B).

I have also determined; in accordance with provisions of section 706(3) (A) of the FRAA, that support for programs to aid Bolivia and Venezuela are vital to the national interests of the United States.

Afghanistan remains the world's largest producer of opium poppy and a major source of heroin. Primary trafficking routes from Afghanistan, where poppy cultivation is still mostly confined to the southern and western provinces, are through Iran to Turkey and Western Europe; through Pakistan to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; and through Central Asia to the Russian Federation.

Helmand Province remains the largest grower of opium poppy in Afghanistan, but the Provincial Government's innovative Food Zone program, which provides farmers with wheat seed and fertilizer in exchange for a pledge not to grow poppy, coupled with credible law enforcement, has reduced Helmand's poppy cultivation by a third, to 69,883 hectares in 2009 and even further to 65,043 hectares in 2010. The U.S.-funded Governor Led Eradication (GLE) program has demonstrated progress in Helmand with 2,111 hectares eradicated by the end of May 2011. To date during 2011, a total of 3,827 hectares of 'GLE has been verified in 17 provinces throughout the country, an increase of more than 45 percent in eradication over the same time last year.

Although the amount of opium poppy cultivated in Pakistan is much less than Afghanistan, the country continues to qualify as a major drug producing country, with an estimated 1,700 hectares of opium poppy under cultivation. The country also remains a major transit country for opiates and hashish for markets around the world and is a transit country for precursor chemicals illegally smuggled to Afghanistan, where they are used to process heroin. Bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and the United States continues to support Pakistan's goal of returning to poppy-free status. United States Government support focuses especially on upgrading the institutional capacity of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies.

A number of indicators qualify the addition of El Salvador and Belize to the Majors List along with the remainder of Central American countries on the isthmus connecting South America to North America.

El Salvador, located between Guatemala and Nicaragua along the Pacific coastline and sharing an eastern border with Honduras, is subject to a number of factors making it vulnerable to the drug trade flowing to the United States from South America. The International Narcotics Control Board describes El Salvador as part of the so-called "northern triangle" with Guatemala and Honduras where "national gangs are forming alliances with international criminal syndicates." According to the most recent U.S. interagency assessment of cocaine flows, the amount of this illicit substance passing through El Salvador destined directly for the United States was estimated at 4 metric tons in 2009.

The most recent U.S. assessment for Belize estimates the flow of drugs destined for the United States through this Central American country on the Caribbean coast at about 10 metric tons. Belize's vulnerability as a south-north avenue for the illegal narcotics trade is also demonstrated by recent drug and weapons seizures in Mexico along the border it shares with Belize. United States officials also report that drug control observers in Belize are increasingly concerned about the presence of drug trafficking organizations, including Los Zetas of Mexico, in the country's border areas and in coastal ports.

Considering the Central American region as a whole, the United States Government estimates that as much as 90 percent of some 700 metric tons of cocaine shipped annually from Colombia and other producing nations intended for the U.S. markets passes through the countries of Central America. This situation is an important element prompting the Central American Citizen Security Partnership, which I announced in March 2011. Through this partnership, the United States is working to refocus the impact of assistance through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) and enhance the impact of complementary United States Government non-CARSI citizen safety and rule of law programs. Countries in the region are increasing coordination through the Central American Integration System, a combined effort to promote citizen security and economic prosperity, including programs aimed at thwarting the drug trade.

International documentation shows continued strengthening of illegal drug trafficking ties between South America and West Africa. West Africa is the closest point to South America for transatlantic purposes, and its close proximity to southern Europe provides a natural gateway to European drug markets. Porous borders, inadequate law enforcement, and corruption create a permissive environment for the illegal drug trade. West African linguistic connections among Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde may also contribute to narcotics trafficking. According to the U.S. assessment of cocaine movement, about a third of cocaine destined for Europe passed through West Africa in 2009. The 2011 U.N. World Drug Report also states there are reports that cocaine from Latin America is being stockpiled in some West African countries for future distribution to Europe in smaller quantities.

Despite the range of domestic challenges, including corruption, West African countries have begun to consider narcotics control as a top national security priority. For example, in 2010, Liberian law enforcement successfully uncovered and interdicted a cache of cocaine valued at $100 million. A number of U.S. projects in West Africa are aimed at improving drug interdiction and investigation capabilities. The assistance provided by international donors and organizations to West African governments to improve their counternarcotics capability is increasingly urgent. The United States welcomes fresh impetus in 2010 and 2011 from the international community, especially the United Nations and the European Union, to make Africa a priority for drug-control assistance, to promote and protect the stability and positive growth of countries in Africa.

The stealth with which both marijuana and synthetic drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy) and methamphetamine are produced in Canada and trafficked to the United States makes it difficult to measure the overall impact of this smuggling. However, a special report prepared in May 2011 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration states that the threat posed by MDMA trafficking from Canada to and within the United States is significant." For example, in April 2011, a seizure of 20 pounds of MDMA from a Canada-based trafficking group was made by U.S. law enforcement in Plattsburg, New York. The United States pledges a more robust engagement and dialogue with Canada to reduce the shared problem of illegal drug trafficking. The results of this bilateral redoubling of drug-control cooperation will be considered in the framework of next year's Presidential Determination.

You are hereby authorized and directed to submit this determination under section 706 of the FRAA, transmit it to the Congress, and publish it in the Federal Register.

/S/

Barack Obama

MEMORANDUM OF JUSTIFICATION FOR MAJOR ILLICIT DRUG TRANSIT OR ILLICIT DRUG PRODUCING COUNTRIES FOR FY 2012

Bolivia

During the past 12 months, the Government of Bolivia has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements or to uphold the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961, as amended.

The United States recognizes that Bolivia has taken some steps to stem illegal drug trafficking and production, and remains committed to the bilateral dialogue designed to establish the basis for a cooperative and productive relationship, especially to agree on joint actions to be taken regarding issues of mutual interest, including counternarcotics.

During the last year, the United States maintained its support for the Government of Bolivia's counternarcotics programs. The Bolivian government's efforts, particularly those supported by the United States Government, continued to achieve some goals in interdiction and eradication. However, after Peru and Colombia, Bolivia remains the world's third largest producer of coca leaf for cocaine and other illegal drug products.

Bolivia's ability to interdict drugs and major traffickers has diminished following its announcement in 2008 to expel U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel, while the country's performance in targeting and dismantling foreign drug trafficker organizations operating in Bolivia has improved marginally in recent years. This achievement is through Bolivia's national efforts and cooperation with neighboring countries, most notably Brazil. Expelling DEA has seriously harmed Bolivia's counternarcotics capability, especially in regard to interdiction. Taken as a whole, eradication and interdiction results have not been adequate to compete with the rising drug trends that have brought Bolivia back to high coca cultivation and cocaine production levels.

The 2010 United States Government coca cultivation estimate for Bolivia of 34,500 hectares was slightly lower than the 2009 estimate of 35,000 hectares. The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime estimated 31,100 hectares of cultivation for 2010, a slight increase over its 2009 estimate of 30,900 hectares. While Bolivia has not yet reversed the increases in net coca cultivation of the past several years, it appears that production has stabilized. The latest United States Government estimate of pure cocaine potential production remained at the 2008-2009 levels of 195 metric tons. At this level, according to the 2011 U.S. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the latest production potential estimate is 70 percent higher than in 2006.

Moreover, Bolivia did not maintain adequate controls over licit coca markets to prevent diversion to illegal narcotics production or close illegal coca markets, and it failed to develop and execute a national drug strategy. Bolivia's efforts to amend the United Nations' 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs with the aim of removing references to traditional uses for coca leaf including coca leaf chewing were unsuccessful, and the country has since presented a denunciation to the United Nations that makes its withdrawal effective January 1, 2012. Bolivian government officials say the country will immediately apply to rejoin the Convention, with the reservation that it does not recognize the Convention ban on chewing coca leaf. Bolivia is a signatory to the 1971 and 1988 United Nations Conventions.

Bolivia has taken some narcotics control actions in the past year, but taken as a whole, the country has made a negligible contribution to the worldwide effort to control drugs, thus justifying the "failed demonstrably" finding again for the country. Government policies and actions are not in line with international drug control standards. These include what many countries, and drug control experts, consider Bolivia's promotion of the idea that coca leaf can be used generally for commercial products, as well as its de facto allowance of 20,000 hectares of legal cultivation, 8,000 more than the 12,000 limit set by the country's national law.

Unlike other coca growing countries, Bolivia has not implemented many of the U.N.-mandated controls over coca, where some cultivation is permitted for traditional use. 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. Bolivia does not have controls in place to strictly enforce licensing and registration for coca growers, possession of harvested crops, controls over licit markets, and ensuring "licit" products are de-alkalinized.

As a matter of policy, Bolivia does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, although there have been arrests of corrupt senior counternarcotics police officials, both inside and outside Bolivia, for facilitating drug shipments. In June 2011, former chief Bolivian counternarcotics officer, Rene Sanabria, pleaded guilty to U.S. Federal cocaine trafficking charges. Sanabria was the head of an elite drug intelligence unit at the time of his arrest.

Bolivia is encouraged to strengthen its efforts to achieve tighter controls over the trade in coca leaf and to stem diversion to cocaine processing, in line with international treaties; protect its citizens from the deleterious effects of drugs, corruption, and drug trafficking; and achieve net reductions in coca cultivation. For the near term, drug traffickers will continue to exploit opportunities to process abundant coca leaf available in Bolivia into cocaine base and cocaine HCL. To diminish Bolivia's appeal to drug traffickers, further government action is required to improve the legal and regulatory environment for security and justice sector efforts to effectively combat drug production and trafficking, money laundering, corruption, and other transnational crime, and bring criminal enterprises to justice through the rule of law.

Bolivia’s efforts during the past 12 months fall short of its obligations to the international community as outlined in the United Nations conventions 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 be allowed to continue.

MEMORANDUM OF JUSTIFICATION FOR MAJOR DRUG TRANSIT OR ILLICIT DRUG PRODUCING COUNTRIES FOR FY 2012

Burma

During the past 12 months, the Government of Burma has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements or to uphold the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) , as amended.

Although Burmese law enforcement authorities have had some successes in seizing illegal narcotics and closing down laboratories where they are produced, Burma's drug enforcement authorities have not suppressed drug production and trafficking

in the cease-fire enclaves primarily controlled by the United Wa State army and the Shan State's armies. Absent significant cooperation from the Burmese Army, other Burmese law enforcement units do not have sufficient resources to confront illegal drug trafficking organizations operating in these regions.

Opium cultivation, long on the decline in most regions of Burma, has been rising in the Shan State and to a lesser degree in Kayah State, with minimal response from the Burmese government. Moreover, Burmese production of methamphetamine-type stimulants continues to feed growing regional demand for these synthetic drugs in Thailand and China and markets much farther away. Narcotics control observers believe that many methamphetamine laboratories in Burma are co-located with opium poppy fields and heroin processing centers in cease-fire areas, not controlled by the Burmese government. Due to deficiencies in drug law enforcement, Burma has been unable to meet its international counternarcotics obligations.

The last opium yield survey in Burma was conducted in 2004. Opium yield surveys can be a useful tool in developing policies and concrete action based on facts rather than estimates. However, due to recent military unrest in Shan State between the Burmese government and ethnic armies, the Burmese government has prohibited travel to certain regions for poppy cultivation survey teams, citing concerns that the safety of such teams cannot be guaranteed.

The number of injecting drug users and consumers of amphetamines in Burma and the region continues to increase. Intravenous drug use contributes to the expansion of Burma's HIV/AIDS epidemic. Burma presents one of the most serious problems of illegal drug use in Asia. However, Burma's prevention and drug-treatment programs lack high-level government support and receive inadequate resources.

In 2009, opium poppy cultivation in Burma was 31,700 hectares, an estimated 11 percent increase over 2008 levels, according to the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime. Poppy cultivation in 2010 was estimated to be as much as 80 percent higher than in 2009. This is in sharp contrast to most of the previous decade when opium poppy production significantly declined. According to official Burmese government statistics, law enforcement officers eradicated 4,087 hectares of opium poppy in 2009 and seized 1.77 million methamphetamine tablets between January and October 2010. Production of amphetamine ­type stimulants has increased dramatically, almost exclusively using precursor materials illegally shipped from India and China. The Burmese government has not responded to this development.

Despite some limited efforts to respond to narcotics production and trafficking, on balance Burma's response has been inadequate.

MEMORANDUM OF JUSTIFICATION FOR MAJOR DRUG TRANSIT OR ILLICIT DRUG PRODUCING COUNTRIES FOR FY 2012

Venezuela

During the past 12 months, the Government of Venezuela has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements or to uphold the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489(a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended.

Venezuela's porous western border with Colombia, weak judicial system, inconsistent international counternarcotics cooperation, and generally permissive and corrupt environment make the country one of the preferred trafficking routes out of South America for drugs to consumer markets. As a matter of stated government policy, the Government of Venezuela does not encourage, support, or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. However, individual members of the government and security forces were credibly reported to have engaged in or facilitated drug trafficking activities. Cocaine movement through Venezuela was estimated to be 250 metric tons in 2010. In the first 4 months of 2011, suspected narcotics trafficking flights departing from Venezuela increased approximately 28 percent over the same period in 2010.

Venezuela reported that it seized 63 metric tons of illegal marijuana and cocaine in 2010. While Venezuela publicly reports such seizures, it does not share the data or evidence needed to verify drug destruction. The country also published statistics on arrests and convictions for drug possession and trafficking, although no information was available on the nature or severity of the drug offenses. Effective prosecution of drug traffickers is hindered by corruption and a lack of judicial independence.

During the past 12 months, Venezuela transferred 3 major drug traffickers to the United States, including Jaime Alberto Marin Zamora, designated a Consolidated Priority Target in accord with the U.S. Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Act, and transferred 9 other fugitives wanted for drug trafficking to third countries.

Since ceasing formal cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2005, bilateral counternarcotics cooperation between Venezuela and the United States has been inadequate and conducted on a limited case-by-case basis. Cooperation has consisted mainly of informal information exchanges with remaining DEA representatives in Caracas, coordination of fugitive deportations from Venezuela to the United States, and maritime interdiction activities carried out by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Venezuela continued to grant permission to the USCG to board Venezuelan-flagged vessels on the high seas suspected of being engaged in narcotics trafficking, and there were 6 such events in the past 12 months. Venezuelan authorities required that the USCG return all confiscated vessels, suspects, and contraband identified during these operations. There was no subsequent provision of information to U.S. officials regarding the drug trafficking organizations involved or the prosecution of suspects. Venezuela's limited counternarcotics cooperation with the United States draws into question the Venezuelan government's intent to uphold its international commitment to combat drug trafficking.

Despite requests from the United States, Venezuela has not signed the updated addendum to the 1978 Bilateral Counternarcotics Memorandum of Understanding that was negotiated in 2005. Venezuelan officials have stated publicly that the country will neither sign a bilateral agreement nor cooperate with the United States on counternarcotics.

The Government of Venezuela took some positive steps in the region regarding counternarcotics issues during the past year. As a part of its increased bilateral dialogue, the Venezuelan and Colombian governments signed an anti-narcotics cooperation agreement. During the year, Venezuela captured and transferred to Colombia seven members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army. These groups rely heavily on drug trafficking to fund their operations and often seek safe haven in Venezuela. Media reports have alleged that some elements of Venezuela's security forces have directly assisted these organizations.

Venezuela is a party to all relevant international drug and crime control agreements, including the 1988 U.N. Convention.

A determination as having failed demonstrably does not affect funding for humanitarian and counternarcotics programs. A U.S. vital national interest waiver for Venezuela permits support for other programs critical to U.S. foreign policy interests.



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