Memorandum on Certification for Major Narcotics Producing and Transit Countries
Presidential Determination No. 93-18
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 490(b)(1)(B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended ("the Act"), I hereby determine and certify that the following major narcotics producing and/or major narcotics transit countries/dependent territories have cooperated fully with the United States, or taken adequate steps on their own, to achieve full compliance with the goals and objectives of the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances:
The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, and Venezuela.
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 490(b)(1)(B) of the Act, I hereby determine that it is in the vital national interests of the United States to certify the following countries:
Afghanistan and Lebanon.
Information on these countries as required under section 490(b)(3) of the Act is enclosed.
I have determined that the following major producing and/or major transit countries do not meet the standards set forth in section 490(b)(1)(A):
Burma, Iran, and Syria.
In making these determinations, I have considered the factors set forth in section 490 of the Act, based on the information contained in the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of 1993. Because the performance of these countries varies, I have attached an explanatory statement in each case.
You are hereby authorized and directed to report this determination to the Congress immediately and to publish it in the Federal Register.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, March 31, 1993.
STATEMENTS OF EXPLANATION
In 1992, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (GCOB) made further progress toward achieving the goals of the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (the "UN Convention") and its bilateral narcotics control agreement with the USG. The GCOB has controls in place to discourage cash money laundering, but newer, more sophisticated money laundering techniques may require additional controls in order to meet fully the goals and objectives of the UN Convention. The GCOB continued its close cooperation with the USG to stop drugs from transiting the 700 islands of the archipelago. Drug enforcement initiatives, through both unilateral and combined programs, have reduced the overall quantities of drugs brought through the Bahamas over the past ten years. The new Ingraham administration, which came into office in August 1992, voiced its early commitment to maintain and enhance the high degree of cooperation in counternarcotics.
The Bahamas, which was the first country to ratify the 1988 UN Convention, has progressively instituted laws and programs to meet its objectives. In past years, the GCOB has created or strengthened laws or agreements relating to sentencing of traffickers, drug asset forfeiture, and mutual legal assistance. In 1992, the GCOB implemented comprehensive regulations to control the import and export of drug precursor and essential chemicals.
In October 1992, USG and GCOB representatives held talks on money laundering. The delegation of U.S. officials agreed with the GCOB conclusion that cash money laundering through banks in The Bahamas had diminished sharply. The majority of banks seemed to be effectively administering a know-your-customer policy which helps deter cash money laundering by non-account holders and/or transients. However, the USG also believes that The Bahamas is vulnerable to exploitation by drug money managers employing more sophisticated techniques involving a variety of monetary instruments passing through layers of shell corporations, which are a major feature of Bahamian banking and commerce. There are indications that money laundering continues via these new techniques.
The Belizean Government (GOB) has cooperated closely with the U.S. and other countries to combat narcotics trafficking. Cooperation has included interdiction, aerial eradication, sharing of intelligence, training, provision of materiel, and the arrest and return to the U.S. of non-Belizean fugitives from U.S. justice. Cocaine seizures and other drug-related crimes increased dramatically in 1992. Belize, with U.S. support, has successfully reduced marijuana cultivation to negligible levels. There is no indication of transit through Belize of precursor chemicals, or of any significant money laundering in Belize.
In December 1992, the U.S. and Belize signed a comprehensive maritime agreement which should enhance both nations' abilities to interdict illegal narcotics. The GOB has not yet signed the 1988 UN Convention, but many of the provisions of the Convention have already been adopted in Belize's 1990 Misuse of Drugs Act. Belize criminalizes illegal drug cultivation, production and distribution, and has cooperated with the U.S. and Mexico on interdiction of cocaine transshipment -- indicators that the country is already in conformity with the intent of the UN Convention. The USG is urging Belize to adhere to the UN Convention and expects it will do so in 1993.
The Government of Bolivia (GOB) continued to cooperate with the USG and its neighbors on counternarcotics objectives in 1992 and has taken adequate steps to further the goals set forth in the 1988 UN Convention.
A major combined police, air force and navy law enforcement operation in the Chapare, the main coca growing region, resulted in significant seizures, including 51 metric tons of coca leaf, over 25 metric tons of cocaine products, nearly 80 metric tons of chemicals, seizure of 10 aircraft, destruction of 427 processing laboratories and 19 airstrips, and arrest or detention of 496 persons suspected of participating in trafficking activities. Building on the success of previous actions, this long-term operation demonstrates the growing capacity of the GOB to implement and sustain successful law enforcement actions throughout the country.
The GOB eradicated 5,149 hectares of coca in 1992. Although short of the GOB 7,000-hectare target, the voluntary eradication program succeeded in duplicating the small net reduction of coca cultivation achieved in 1991. It should be noted that a portion of coca cultivation (traditional chewing and for coca tea) is legal under Bolivian law but that production far exceeds the needs of the domestic market.
GOB counternarcotics results would be improved by strengthened political will against illegal coca cultivation and more vigorous actions against corruption. The GOB needs to implement all provisions of its existing law, including forcible eradication of new coca in the Chapare. Improvements in the justice system would increase GOB ability to prosecute successfully traffickers and keep them in prison.
The GOB extradited one Bolivian drug trafficker to the United States in mid-1992. However, in December 1992, the Bolivian Supreme Court rejected a U.S. request for the extradition of another trafficker on the grounds that the existing extradition treaty did not include narcotics violations, and that the offenses for which the trafficker was charged occurred prior to Bolivia's accession to the 1988 UN Convention. (The UN Convention had been the basis for previous extradition requests.) The Court's decision spurred the GOB to seek a modern extradition treaty with the U.S. which would cover narcotics-related offenses. The GOB is currently reviewing the text of a draft treaty it negotiated with the U.S. in 1990.
In 1992, the Government of Brazil (GOB) continued to cooperate with the USG in counternarcotics programs, though results of its efforts have been disappointing. A severe political crisis and chronic economic problems distracted the GOB from effectively addressing its rising drug trafficking and consumption problem.
The GOB has not yet formulated a comprehensive national strategy, nor has it devoted sufficient resources to the problem. The anti-narcotics unit of the Federal Police is severely undermanned and underfunded. Legislation which would substantially improve counternarcotics enforcement continues to languish in congressional committee. Nevertheless, the GOB undertook two notable counternarcotics initiatives in 1992. The President signed a decree increasing the penalty for growing illegal drugs. Under this decree, landowners may be required to forfeit their entire plot of land, not just the small parcel under illicit cultivation. Secondly, the Government imposed regulations for reporting deposits over $ 10,000, following a USG-funded money laundering control seminar attended by central bank officials. New President Franco has declared 1993 will be a year of national commitment against drug trafficking. These measures demonstrate progress toward the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention.
The People's Republic of China (PRC) has become a significant transit country for heroin produced in the neighboring Golden Triangle region, principally Burma. It also has a growing opium cultivation problem and produces illicit methamphetamine, some of which is exported. The Chinese Government is actively addressing narcotics abuse and has launched a strong internal campaign against illegal drug use, including law enforcement, public education and international cooperation components. The Government treats narcotics-related corruption seriously.
Expansion of PRC cooperation with the USG remains restricted by the still-unresolved case of smuggler Wang Zongxiao, who requested political asylum in the U.S. in 1990 after being sent by PRC authorities at USG request to testify in a narcotics prosecution. The Drug Enforcement Administration has been able to continue a modest liaison relationship with PRC authorities, however, and the Chinese have participated in USG-funded training programs. The PRC itself pursues an active and aggressive counternarcotics effort, which has resulted in numerous arrests and convictions, many resulting in death sentences and substantial seizures.
China's broad-based counternarcotics program, while not in all respects sophisticated by world standards, shows that the PRC has met or is actively seeking to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention.
Despite intense pressure by powerful drug trafficking organizations and some setbacks, Colombia continues to be both cooperative and proactive in a broad range of counternarcotics activities. Colombia signed the 1988 UN Convention in 1988. Despite the fact that the Second Senatorial Commission did not ratify it, the Government of Colombia (GOC) has largely met the goals of the Convention and the Gaviria administration still strongly supports its ratification. Pablo Escobar's July escape from prison was a major embarrassment to the GOC, with costly political fallout both domestically and internationally. The GOC responded quickly, by initiating an unprecedented massive manhunt, resulting in thousands of raids. Although Escobar remains at large, many of his key associates have been killed, captured, or have returned to prison voluntarily.
The GOC made a tough political decision in early 1992 to eradicate opium poppy -- which only recently appeared in Colombia -- with aerial application of herbicide. This decision, coupled with the Colombian National Police's (CNP) aggressive crop spraying campaign, has started to stabilize the opium crop. However, continuing pressure is needed to prevent the spread of opium poppy cultivation.
Led by the CNP's directorate of anti-narcotics (DAN), security services in 1992 seized or destroyed over 33 metric tons of cocaine hydrochloride and base, over 200 cocaine labs, over 6,000 55-gallon drums of ether, acetone and MEK, 110 airstrips, over 30 aircraft, and arrested over 1,700 persons.
The GOC activated its new Prosecutor General's office July 1, setting a standard in Latin America for criminal justice reform and prosecuting narcotics cases. Colombian law enforcement and military components participated fully in both bilateral and multilateral air interdiction and money laundering/asset seizure operations, many targeting the Cali Cartel. The CNP and Venezuelan security forces conducted a successful joint cross-border interdiction operation. Colombia is also conducting its first national-level drug abuse survey. Strong political will exists within the GOC, but the activities of traffickers through bribery, political influence, intimidation, violence and collusion with insurgents make progress difficult.
The Government of Ecuador (GOE) continues to cooperate with the USG to reduce drug trafficking. The GOE has enacted domestic legislation to implement the provisions of the 1988 United Nations Convention and OAS Model Regulations. The GOE is taking steps to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. In 1991, Ecuador and the USG signed a chemicals control agreement. In 1992, Ecuador signed an agreement with the USG on money laundering, which entered into force in 1993. Also in 1992, the USG and GOE began work on an asset sharing agreement. The GOE must marshal the various Ecuadorian agencies' efforts to form a viable national counternarcotics strategy.
The GOE's arrest of the leader and most members of the Jorge Reyes Torres Organization (JRTO/the largest narcotics trafficking organization in Ecuador) demonstrated resolve against drug trafficking, although we are waiting for vigorous prosecution of the defendants. The GOE also brought charges against a number of officials in an Ecuadorian military-owned bank for money laundering. In addition, the GOE sentenced a judge to five years in prison for illegally releasing Reyes Torres from jail in 1988. Nevertheless, corruption remains a serious problem.
For the first time, the Ecuadorian military provided air support to the police for counternarcotics operations. In another first, the GOE launched combined police/military operations against suspected drug traffickers in a remote area of the Ecuadorian/Colombian border. Ecuador also participated with the USG and neighbors in multi-national military efforts to curb drug trafficking. Ecuador has continued its participation in a regional air interdiction program.
The GOE eradicated coca in the mid-1980s and continues to conduct reconnaissance to locate and destroy any new cultivation, resources permitting. GOE forces found and destroyed several hectares of opium poppy near the Colombian border in November 1992.
During 1992, the administration of President Serrano cooperated with the U.S. to combat narcotics trafficking. Guatemalan Treasury Police participated with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Department Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (INM) in Operation CADENCE, an enhanced cocaine interdiction program combining intelligence sharing, joint counternarcotics missions, and use of USG air assets in Guatemalan territory.
Operation CADENCE and Guatemalan law enforcement authorities' own independent actions resulted in the seizure of 9.5 tons of cocaine in 1992. With USG support, the Guatemalans opened a Joint Intelligence Collection Center and included on the staff an official dedicated to precursor chemical control investigations. The Treasury Police has also undertaken to increase its staff and deploy more heavily throughout the country.
Guatemala's USG-supported aerial eradication program and Guatemala Treasury Police manual eradication missions sharply reduced the cultivation of opium poppy in 1992. The area under cultivation had reached a peak in 1990 at roughly 1,930 hectares, but declined in 1991 to 1,721 hectares, and in 1992 to 1,200 hectares.
Guatemala has signed and ratified the 1988 UN Convention; in 1992, the Guatemalan legislature passed a tough, comprehensive counternarcotics law which, when implemented in 1993, will meet the standards of the 1988 UN Convention. The government's cooperation on extradition and law enforcement with the U.S. as well as its chemical control efforts, drug awareness programs, crop eradication and drug interdiction indicate that the country is already in conformity with the Convention's goals and objectives.
The Serrano administration brought extradition proceedings against former mayor (of Zacapa) Arnoldo Vargas to a successful conclusion in 1992. Vargas and two of his associates now await trial on trafficking charges in the United States.
Hong Kong is an important center for brokering and transshipping heroin from the Golden Triangle to the United States and other destinations. Drug traffickers also use it to launder their narcotics earnings. Hong Kong's counternar-cotics effort represents substantial compliance with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, although it is not party to the Convention.
Bilateral cooperation between USG agencies and their HKG counterparts is excellent. About $ 25 million in drug-related assets have been confiscated both in Hong Kong and in the U.S. under a U.S.-Hong Kong agreement concerning confiscation and forfeiture of proceeds and instrumentalities of drug trafficking since it came into force in January 1991. The Hong Kong courts ruled in January that U.S. civil court forfeiture orders will be given effect by local courts under the terms of the bilateral agreement. This will give the U.S. the ability to request the freezing of drug assets in Hong Kong by means of either a U.S. civil or criminal forfeiture request. The HKG is positively considering a USG request for the sharing of seized assets. In one setback, a Hong Kong court ruling voided key sections of the financial disclosure laws; the Hong Kong Government is appealing to the Privy Council.
USG-HKG cooperation in extradition matters remains excellent. In 1992, 11 fugitives were extradited from Hong Kong to the U.S. on drug charges. Cooperation between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Customs and their HKG counterparts continues to be fruitful. Hong Kong is an active participant in the Financial Action Task Force.
India's main drug control problems are the transit of illegal drugs across its borders from neighboring producing countries, diversion from its licit opium industry to illicit channels, illegal cultivation and illicit export of chemicals for processing heroin. Despite good cooperation with the United States on individual cases of trafficking and increasing efforts to curtail diversion from licit cultivation, the Government of India (GOI) still needs to raise the priority of anti-drug programs and take stronger measures to control narcotics to the maximum extent possible.
The GOI again in 1992 raised the minimum amount of opium which licit growers must sell the GOI to obtain a new license, tightened terms of the crop-damage clause and paid incentives to growers who sell the GOI more opium than the average yield for the previous growing year. It has also reduced the number of farmers licensed to grow opium and brought the licit opiate stockpile down to a level consistent with market demand. Nevertheless, corruption at various levels and limited resources continue to obstruct effective GOI enforcement to thwart diversion of the licit crop into the hands of traffickers. Significant quantities of opium are still diverted from licit production, although most of what is diverted is probably consumed within the country. GOI-reported seizures of illegal opium fell to 1,585 kg in 1992 versus 2,145 kg in 1991.
On the other hand, GOI-reported heroin seizures rose to 1,034 kg in 1992 versus 622 kg in 1991. GOI regulations controlling the sale and possession of acetic anhydride (AA), used to make heroin, on the Indo-Pakistani and Indo-Burmese border have apparently helped to reduce AA smuggling to neighboring countries. The GOI states that nationwide AA controls are impossible because of its wide licit use, but the government nevertheless has set up an inter-agency committee to study what further domestic restrictions on AA may be possible.
India is becoming a major repository of Southwest Asian drug money, attracted by weak controls on its financial system, its gold market and its underground banking system. India is also reportedly attracting drug money from Colombia and other parts of the narcotics world. Several measures of control have been adopted in India, but enforcement is weak.
Existing Indian narcotics-related laws are adequate but rules on asset seizure, conspiracy and money laundering need to be more consistently applied to further advance the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention.
In 1992, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) took adequate steps toward achieving the goals of both its bilateral narcotics control agreement with the USG and the 1988 UN Convention. Jamaica's new Prime Minister, who entered office in March 1992, reaffirmed his government's commitment to a vigorous counternarcotics program.
The GOJ-USG cooperative interdiction program resulted in increased cocaine seizures during 1992. However, marijuana seizures were down, due at least in part to the vigorous GOJ eradication program to which the USG provided helicopter support. Based on preliminary crop estimates, in 1992 harvestable cultivation of cannabis was reduced to 389 hectares, down from 950 hectares in 1991 and 1,220 hectares in 1990. The Jamaicans hosted a workshop and a ministerial conference on money laundering under the auspices of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
The GOJ is largely effective in controlling public corruption connected with drug trafficking. There have been no known instances of integrity violations in jointly conducted USG-GOJ narcotics investigations. Although no senior GOJ officials are known to be engaged in drug trafficking, an assistant superintendent of police was charged with accepting bribes and providing security for a major marijuana trafficker. A resident magistrate ruled that the GOJ had failed to substantiate the charges, and the assistant superintendent was reinstated to his former position.
The GOJ has not yet ratified the USG-GOJ Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) or the 1988 UN Convention. Draft legislation to ratify the MLAT and a second draft of assets seizure/money laundering legislation were completed in 1992 and are under review by the GOJ. The new U.S.-Jamaican extradition treaty, which entered into force in 1991, provides for the extradition of drug offenders.
The GOJ takes pride in its integrated demand reduction program, which encourages society as a whole to attack drug abuse. The GOJ has not yet developed an information system to monitor the success of the program.
Laotian counternarcotics efforts expanded in 1992. Estimated opium production declined 13 percent in 1992 from 1991, bringing the total crop reduction since initiation of USG and United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) funded counternarcotics programs in 1989 to 39 percent. Laos is the only major producer in which opium production has decreased for three consecutive years.
Although Lao law enforcement efforts against the drug trade remain largely ineffective, there were several potentially positive developments in the area during the year. The Government of Laos (GOL) has actively publicized narcotics-related arrests and seizures during the past year, in contrast to past practice. An increased number of both highland and lowland Lao have been arrested on charges involving opium, heroin and marijuana. In December, Laos arrested its first foreign heroin trafficker in a case also marked by cooperation with Thai police authorities. The Lao Customs Department has established a separate counter-smuggling unit in Vientiane with counternarcotics responsibilities. In August, the GOL Council of Ministers approved establishment of a counternarcotics police unit, and in September Laos and the USG signed a letter of agreement to provide support and training for this unit. Progress in actual formation of that unit has been slow, but existing police counternarcotics efforts continue to improve. Laos' counternarcotics efforts remain weak, and its slowness to establish the new police unit and accept USG assistance are disappointing; but these aspects must be seen in the context of a poor country with a poorly developed administrative system.
Laos is not a party to the 1988 UN Convention. It has made only limited formal progress toward meeting its goals and objectives, but is translating materials on the legal requirements of the Convention into Lao for legislative attention, and officials have stated their intent to meet the Convention's standards.
Narcotics corruption among civilian and military personnel continues to be a major problem in Laos. There is no evidence that the Lao Government itself encourages or facilitates narcotics activity. Although senior Lao officials have repeatedly insisted that anyone involved in the narcotics trade will be arrested and prosecuted, there is little evidence of aggressive action in this regard.
Malaysia is an important consumer and transit point for Golden Triangle heroin, some of which is also processed in the country from imported opium or derivatives. The Malaysian Government recognizes the seriousness of the narcotics threat both domestically and internationally, and has strong laws, active law enforcement, public education, and treatment programs. It cooperates well with the United States. During 1992, Malaysia arrested at USG request a major Southeast Asian heroin trafficker and pursued extradition proceedings against him. Although the extradition request was denied, the trafficker was expelled from Malaysia and is now under arrest in the U.S.
While low-level corruption facilitates persistent drug trafficking and abuse, Malaysia pursues aggressive law enforcement efforts under one of the most severe drug laws in the world. Malaysian narcotics policy is generally serious, well funded and well organized. Malaysia is actively moving to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, which it has signed but not yet ratified.
The United States Government and the Government of Mexico (GOM) maintained close, effective counternarcotics cooperation in 1992, despite GOM indignation over what it viewed as violations of Mexican sovereignty and international law in the Alvarez Machain case.
Mexico nevertheless continued its vigorous and comprehensive national campaign against production, trafficking and abuse of illegal drugs, meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention. The GOM still needs to enact money laundering legislation, which we expect to be submitted to the Mexican Congress in April 1993. The GOM seized nearly 40 MT of cocaine and 83 kilograms of heroin in 1992, and the USG estimates that Mexico effectively eradicated 6,860 hectares of opium poppy and 12,100 hectares of marijuana. President Salinas called on all of Mexico's governors to develop state programs to complement the national drug plan which addresses both the effects and the roots of the problem -- a balanced approach of supply and demand reduction, alternative economic development, etc. In June 1992, the GOM established the National Center for the Planning for the Control of Drugs (CENDRO) as the focal point for strategic planning, threat analysis and operational coordination. The Attorney General continued to press for legal reforms to further combat trafficking and to protect civil rights.
Mexico is working with the U.S. to build a coordinated hemispheric response to the drug threat. President Salinas participated in the San Antonio Summit. The GOM urges its neighbors to take greater responsibility for combatting trafficking in their territories. In July 1992, Mexico announced that it would complete the process of assuming the costs of counternarcotics programs previously supported by U.S. international narcotics control funds. Future USG support will concentrate on specialized training and technical support.
Despite successes, Mexico faces daunting obstacles. Illicit drug crop cultivation has spread to new and more remote areas. South American cocaine traffickers have taken evasive measures to avoid detection. Mexico's revitalized economy and unregulated money exchange houses make it an attractive venue for money laundering. Also, its extensive chemical industry makes control of precursor chemicals very difficult. Official corruption is a deep-rooted and persistent problem, but it is one which President Salinas is addressing as a high priority.
Morocco is one of the world's largest producers of cannabis, much of which is exported as hashish resin or oil to Europe and other countries in North Africa. Increasing quantities of cocaine and, to a lesser extent, heroin are transiting from the Americas and Asia through Morocco en route to Europe. An estimated 15 to 40 percent of Morocco's cannabis crop is consumed domestically. Abuse of prescription drugs is a secondary concern, and authorities report rising use of cocaine and heroin in major cities.
During the latter months of 1992, Morocco began showing signs of new political will to address its drug trafficking and consumption problems. King Hassan II issued a directive in October ordering various ministries to increase their anti-drug efforts. In October, the Moroccan Government also publicly acknowledged the existence of drug-related official corruption and took action against many suspected of involvement in the drug trade. Although official corruption continues to be a serious problem, the government struck from electoral rolls the names of nearly 400 candidates suspected of narcotics-related corruption. Morocco ratified the 1988 UN Convention in November and began drafting modifications to its laws to bring them into conformity. These revisions are expected to be enacted early in 1993.
Following the King's directive, Morocco also initiated a two-phase counternarcotics campaign in the cannabis-producing Rif Mountain region. The first phase involved increased law enforcement activities, although it is not clear how effective these activities have been at reducing cannabis cultivation. For the second phase, King Hassan has requested over $ 700 million in financing from the European Community for crop substitution and economic development in the Rif region.
Nigerian drug trafficking organizations are responsible for bringing in much of the Asian heroin that enters the United States. These networks, sophisticated in their practices and ubiquitous in their geographical reach, recruit carriers from throughout Africa, as well as from Europe, Asia, and the United States. Nigerians also are increasingly involved in trafficking cocaine from Latin America into Europe and the United States.
The Federal Military Government (FMG) of Nigeria took some steps to improve its counternarcotics performance in 1992, although much remains to be done. In April 1992, the USG requested the extradition of four Nigerian citizens to face heroin trafficking charges in the United States; one of the four was extradited in October. As Nigeria's importance as a drug transit country has grown, there has been a corresponding growth in drug abuse within Nigeria. The FMG in 1992 made genuine efforts to attack the problem by expanding public awareness, developing anti-drug curricula for public schools, and opening two drug treatment centers.
The FMG does not, as a matter of policy, facilitate the production or trafficking of drugs or the laundering of drug money, but corruption continues to be an endemic problem severely limiting the effectiveness of Nigeria's counternarcotics efforts. Nigeria took some steps in 1992 to recognize its corruption problems. The Attorney General's office amended Nigeria's drug decree to impose stiffer penalties on corrupt officials. Several drug law enforcement officers were arrested and charged with corruption, including an intelligence officer who received a 30-year prison sentence.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), created in 1989, continued to expand its staffing and budget, but its effectiveness was hampered by corruption and weak leadership. After a period of strained relations that forestalled operations of the joint NDLEA-DEA task force, the joint task force resumed its activities late in 1992 and is discussing a reorganization for 1993.
In many respects, Nigeria's counternarcotics efforts advanced the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, but the FMG needs to do more in several areas including extraditing the remaining three Nigerian citizens under indictment in U.S. Federal court, targeting major drug organizations and kingpins, and preventing and punishing official corruption.
Pakistan remains a major producer and an important transit country for heroin destined for international markets. The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 20 percent of the heroin consumed in the U.S. originates in Southwest Asia where Pakistan is a primary producer.
The Government of Pakistan (GOP) continued anti-narcotics initiatives in 1992. Cooperation with USG agencies on investigations, enforcement and extraditions remained good; however, the GOP initiated only two prosecutions of major traffickers during the year; one was convicted but successfully appealed. The USG expects that Pakistan will do better on arrests and prosecutions when the Narcotics Ministry's Anti-Narcotics Task Forces (ANTF), established in 1992, become fully operational. The GOP states that it is committed to expanding and enforcing the opium poppy ban in the Northwest Frontier Province, but potential opium production decreased only slightly to 175 mt in 1992 as compared to 180 mt in 1991. While 12 heroin labs in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) were reportedly closed, no prosecutions resulted and government action has apparently not deterred the opening of new heroin laboratories. Most of these laboratories are located in areas of the northwest bordering Afghanistan and have never been within the span of central Pakistani government control.
Draft legislation to bring Pakistani laws into compliance with the 1988 UN Convention still awaits passage by the Parliament. If the Parliament adopts recommendations on drug control written by a special committee for the country's next five-year plan, it will represent a commitment to enhancing GOP anti-drug efforts. Pakistan is increasingly of concern as a money laundering site.
Pakistan is taking adequate steps to meet the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention, but the GOP must follow through -- financially and politically -- to implement more effective narcotics control initiatives if they are to contribute meaningfully to reducing the country's drug problems.
Panama remains a major narcotics money laundering and illicit drug-transshipment nation. Despite continued policy and budgetary support for counternarcotics measures by the Endara administration, Panama's drug trafficking problem remains severe and the Panamanian Government (GOP) needs to make a stronger, more effective effort against the drug trade.
Cocaine seizures in 1992 increased to 10 tons, exceeding the record 9.3 tons seized in 1991. Most of the large seizures (including a record 5.3 tons on July 15) occurred in the Colon Free Zone, highlighting the importance of that facility to traffickers. The GOP redrafted its national narcotics control legislation (Law 23 of 1986). Panamanian law already meets the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention: it criminalizes a broad range of narcotics trafficking and money laundering activities and provides for assets seizure. Still, Panama is a "venue of choice" to money launderers, and is one of the four major money laundering countries in this hemisphere. The GOP signed and ratified a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the U.S. in 1991, but the document still awaits the U.S. Senate's ratification. Panama signed the 1988 UN Convention in 1991, but has not yet ratified it.
Execution of drug laws has been inconsistent, in part because Law 23 is more effective for seizure than for forfeiture of illegally obtained assets. Panamanian authorities continued in 1992 to freeze bank accounts of suspected money launderers; however, claiming he was bound by Law 23, the Attorney General released millions of dollars of previously frozen accounts allegedly traceable to drug cartel kingpins. These unwarranted actions prompted the Panamanian Solicitor General to suspend both the Attorney General and Drug Secretary, pending further investigation. The suspensions, upheld by the Supreme Court, revealed much GOP interagency suspicion and weakened Panama's overall counternarcotics effort.
Notwithstanding the need for Panama to prosecute money laundering cases more vigorously, Panama cooperated with the U.S. in 1992, inaugurating a Joint Intelligence Collection Center; opening a new Judicial Technical Police (PTJ) academy, and increasing PTJ staff by about 50 percent. Panamanian Customs cooperated with a U.S. Customs Service survey of Panamanian gateways, and Panamanian law enforcement agencies participated in a joint maritime exercise.
The U.S. and Panama have bilateral agreements on ship boarding, maritime operations and essential chemicals. The PTJ has cooperated fully in providing data on transportation of precursor chemicals transiting Panama for illicit purposes. The GOP extradited three Colombian nationals to the U.S. in accordance with the 1904 bilateral extradition treaty and the 1961 Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol.
During 1992, the Government of Paraguay's (GOP) efforts to improve its counternarcotics capabilities focused on strengthening enforcement agencies and broadening the legal framework for anti-drug activities. In these efforts, the GOP cooperated with the United States Government.
A notable GOP policy initiative was the inclusion in the new constitution of Article 71, which requires the government to suppress the production and trafficking of narcotics, to fight money laundering, and to establish programs in drug education, prevention, and rehabilitation. The GOP, through its Anti-Drug Secretariat (SENAD), mounted some 30 major operations to disrupt marijuana cultivation and trafficking (most of Paraguay's marijuana harvests are exported and used in Brazil). Finally, the USG and the GOP initialled a financial information exchange agreement aimed at combatting money laundering. These measures demonstrate the GOP's intention to cooperate with the USG and that it is meeting the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention.
There are, however, persistent reports of military corruption and allegations of government officials engaging in money laundering activities.
While the Government of Peru (GOP) has not made substantial inroads into the flow of cocaine base northward, it has brought to bear significant resources and political will in an effort to disrupt narcotics trafficking in the Huallaga Valley. In 1992, at President Fujimori's direction, the Peruvian armed forces took a more active role in counternarcotics enforcement, although counterterrorism continued to be their priority mission.
The April 5 suspension of constitutional democracy by President Fujimori hindered USG efforts to support Peruvian narcotics-related law enforcement and alternative development efforts in 1992. The strafing of a U.S. C-130 by Peruvian fighters (and death of one U.S. crewman) while on a Peruvian-authorized narcotics mission also complicated bilateral relations. Narcotics corruption remained a significant impediment to GOP counternarcotics efforts in the field.
Despite the suspension of USG military and economic assistance, the GOP significantly increased the number of army engineering battalions assigned to counternarcotics alternative development missions in the Huallaga region and made substantial budgetary contributions to narcotics-related alternative development, including $ 8.75 million for road rehabilitation, community development and civic action. The Peruvian National Police narcotics unit increased its seizure rate by 50% over last year and improved the quality of its intelligence. The Peruvian Air Force (FAP) established an air defense zone command at Santa Lucia, assigned counternarcotics interceptors to the base, and deployed 50-man security units to seven key municipal airstrips to prohibit their use by narcotrafficking aircraft. By late December, it had resumed participation in a major air interdiction program.
Consistent with the 1988 UN Convention, the GOP issued new legislation to make money laundering a crime and expand controls on essential chemicals. The GOP is taking steps to address the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention on other fronts as well.
Peru must surmount major obstacles such as human rights abuse, terrorism, a depressed economy and corruption in order to implement an effective long-term counternarcotics policy. Against this backdrop, the Fujimori government displayed a greater willingness to use the limited resources at its disposal for counternarcotics activities. Results, however, were limited, particularly in relation to the size of the problem.
While no longer a major source country for opiates (its production potential was estimated as 24 mt of opium in 1992), Thailand remains the primary conduit for heroin from the Golden Triangle sold in the United States. Thailand began to address some of its problems with the August 1991 passage of narcotics conspiracy and forfeiture laws; in 1992, the first arrests were made under these statutes, but the cases have not yet come to trial. In 1992, the Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau was made a separate organization within the National Police and grew to over 500 officers, and Thai authorities arrested 52 major traffickers, compared to 32 in 1991. A new extradition treaty with the United States came into effect in May 1991, and the exchange of instruments of ratification of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is expected early in 1993. Widespread police corruption, expanding cross-border trade with Burma, and the involvement of influential Thai and Sino-Thai tycoons in the narcotics trade with the connivance of some Thai officials are serious impediments to more effective counternarcotics action. Thailand is also of concern as a potential money-laundering center.
While there are serious flaws in Thailand's counternarcotics effort, Thailand is devoting increased resources of its own to narcotics interdiction, public education, and drug treatment. It has sought to encourage regional cooperation with Laos and Burma, works well with Malaysia, and continues to cooperate actively with U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Thailand has in place nearly all the laws and regulations needed for it to accede to the 1988 UN Convention. RTG policy initiatives plus accession to the Convention will mean that Thailand has moved significantly toward meeting the goals and objectives of the Convention.
Venezuela is a significant transit country for cocaine, chemicals and, on a smaller scale, heroin. Although domestic GOV seizures in calendar year 1992 totalled slightly more than 3 mt, seizures outside Venezuela of drugs transshipped from Venezuela totalled more than 30 mt. Venezuelan law enforcement agencies provided information leading to many of the seizures. Venezuela is a Colombian drug trafficker hub.
Pervasive corruption and money laundering remain acknowledged problems in Venezuela and are serious impediments to effective law enforcement activities against narcotics trafficking. While the GOV is making an effort to deal with these problems, much remains to be done.
The Government of Venezuela (GOV) supported stronger bilateral counterdrug cooperation with the USG during 1992. Cooperation with the Judicial Technical Police and the Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services led to significant seizures of drugs and documents inside and outside Venezuela. The GOV evidenced its commitment to rid Venezuela of traffickers when it expelled to Italy the Cuntreras brothers, three suspected members of an international cocaine trafficking ring.
The GOV, which participated in the 1992 San Antonio Summit, is a signatory to the 1988 UN Convention. The GOV has performed effectively in complying with the interdiction goals of the Convention; however, it has fallen short on money laundering and chemical controls because it lacks legislation criminalizing money laundering or regulating commerce in precursor and essential chemicals. The GOV does, however, require Venezuelan banks dealing in foreign exchange to maintain cash transaction reports, and it is working towards fulfilling UN Convention requirements to control specific chemicals. The GOV has signed, but not fully implemented, agreements with the USG on case-specific asset sharing, drug awareness, and maritime cooperation. In 1992, Venezuela worked with Colombia to combat drug trafficking along their common border.
Anti-narcotics initiatives announced by President Carlos Andres Perez in mid-1991 were not fully carried out, largely because of two coup attempts, February 4 and November 27, 1992. The GOV's concern with public order overrode the implementation of the proposed national strategy and creation of the operational unified drug command. Problems with a key GOV counterpart (the National Guard) caused the USG to shift assistance programs to new entities.
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR A NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVER
The USG estimates that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, the second largest producer in the world, increased 12 percent in 1992, from 17,190 hectares in 1991 to 19,470 hectares in 1992, potentially producing 640 metric tons of opium. Increases in opium production in 1992 may be attributed primarily to deteriorating economic conditions which pressure farmers -- and returning refugees -- to produce more opium for a cash crop. Afghan opium is principally refined into heroin in illegal labs operating in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. About 20 percent of the heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from Southwest Asia, particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan, while most of the heroin exported from the region is destined for European markets.
In official contacts, the Government of Afghanistan (GOA) has assured the USG that it will undertake a strong anti-narcotics policy, recognizing that it is in the nation's own interest. In October 1992, the GOA published a decree establishing an Inter-Ministerial Counternarcotics Commission with an initial mandate of formulating a national counter-narcotics strategy. Representatives from Afghanistan participated in two UN counterdrug conferences in 1992. There are indications that regional commanders in Afghanistan are taking nascent steps to combat drug production, trafficking and abuse. While the signs are good, the USG does not have a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and therefore cannot accurately evaluate Afghanistan's practical progress in implementing the 1988 UN Convention, which the country ratified in 1992. However, it appears that progress is too limited to warrant certification.
Despite signs of interest in drug control, the Afghanistan Government's professed good intentions are hampered by political instability, competing priorities, insufficient resources and, most importantly, lack of authority in the hinterland much beyond Kabul. However, U.S. policy objectives for the region, including Afghan narcotics control and national stability, justify a national interest waiver certification for Afghanistan. If allowed to flourish, the drug trade in Afghanistan will threaten the country's move towards democracy, undermine the security of surrounding countries, and increase the potential supply of drugs reaching the U.S. market. A national interest waiver paves the way for enhanced U.S. assistance to Afghanistan, when the timing is right, aid which could help reestablish national stability. U.S. vital national interests in Afghanistan outweigh the USG's interest in insisting upon full counternarcotics cooperation with the GOA under current circumstances.
In September 1992, the USG concluded an agreement for a small cross-border narcotics control project with a non-governmental organization in Kandahar province. The U.S. hopes to conclude additional arrangements for the provision of financial assistance to combat illegal drugs with the central government and/or regional leaders and organizations when they are fully able to participate.
Lebanon is a major drug producing and trafficking country. In addition to traditional hashish production, opium is cultivated and processed into heroin in Lebanon, and Lebanese traffickers have become increasingly involved in the cocaine trade.
Since 1976, Syrian troops have occupied Lebanon's Biqa' Valley, and they constitute the only formal security authority in this area. Following a harsh winter that destroyed large areas of the opium and cannabis crops in the Biqa' Valley, there were signs of greater cooperation between Syria and Lebanon to control drug production and trafficking in the region. Syrian forces worked with Lebanese authorities to eradicate remaining opium and cannabis cultivation, and to enforce the Lebanese Government's ban on further cultivation of illicit crops. However, the area continued to be a major center for processing heroin.
The political situation in Lebanon continues to impede effective counternarcotics efforts by the Lebanese Government, and to hamper its capacity to cooperate fully with the USG on narcotics control matters. It is not possible for the Lebanese Government to advance significantly the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention in any meaningful way because it lacks control in the Biqa' Valley.
Nonetheless, vital U.S. national interests -- in maintaining peace and stability in the region and preserving the territorial integrity of Lebanon -- would be damaged by a weakening or collapse of the Lebanese Government. These vital national interests would be placed at risk by a cessation of U.S. assistance, and this risk outweighs the USG's interest in insisting upon full counternarcotics cooperation from the Government of Lebanon under current circumstances. The United States seeks to retain the flexibility to respond to Lebanon's legitimate needs for economic and developmental assistance.
STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF DENIAL OF CERTIFICATION
Despite frequent public statements and some law enforcement actions, the Government of Burma has not under-taken serious or sustained counternarcotics efforts since 1988. While estimated opium production dropped slightly, the drop was accounted for entirely by a decline in an area controlled by an ethnic insurgency group in active conflict with Rangoon. Production elsewhere in the country increased marginally.
The Government's political and military accommodations with some of the insurgent/trafficking groups continued, with no indication of the reduced opium reduction which the government claims is the goal of these arrangements. Indeed, these relationships appear to continue to facilitate the drug operations of the armed traffickers. Burma did enter into separate tripartite agreements with the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and Thailand, China and Laos for long-term narcotics control projects. However, the projects have yet to make meaningful progress and are on such small scale that in themselves they can only hope to serve as models. Burma has permitted a small-scale opium yield survey by U.S. researchers, but refused to fulfill a commitment to conduct a baseline aerial survey of the UNDCP project areas.
The GOB is a party to the 1988 UN Convention, but made reservations on extradition and the submission of disputes to the World Court. The GOB in January, 1993, promulgated a new narcotics law designed to move Burma towards conformity with the 1988 UN Convention. The new law appears to meet several of the goals and objectives of the Convention, but it is too soon to know how the military government will interpret and enforce the new legislation, which will be more significant than the text itself.
The Government of Iran (GOI) did not cooperate in illegal drug control with the United States in 1992. However, the GOI did engage in some counternarcotics arrangements with the UN and cooperated in some law enforcement areas with certain neighboring countries. While the Iranian authorities made certain claims of counternarcotics activity, the USG's information to confirm this activity is not such that the USG is able to certify Iran under current U.S. law. Nor can the USG evaluate the extent to which the GOI has advanced the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN Convention which it ratified in 1992, but we believe the extent is minimal.
Iran is historically a transshipment point for opium and heroin from Pakistan and Afghanistan destined principally for Europe. Although the GOI maintains that opium poppy cultivation has been eradicated, the USG estimates that cultivation continued at a level of 350 hectares in 1992 with a potential opium yield between 30 and 70 metric tons.
Syria is a transit country for illicit hashish and heroin and a suspected site for refining of small amounts of opium into heroin. Following a harsh winter that destroyed large areas of the opium and cannabis crops in the Biqa' Valley, there were signs of greater cooperation between Syria and Lebanon to control drug production and trafficking in the region. Syrian forces worked with Lebanese authorities to eradicate remaining opium and cannabis cultivation and to enforce the Lebanese Government's ban on further cultivation of illicit crops. However, the area continued to be a major center for processing heroin.
There were continuing credible reports of involvement by Syrian military officials in the drug trade. Syria has not taken effective measures to prevent and punish the corruption of senior government officials that facilitates production, processing, or trafficking of narcotics.
The Syrian Government did little to meet U.S. concerns about the involvement of its officials in facilitating the Lebanese drug trade, nor did it take adequate steps to justify counternarcotics certification.
William J. Clinton, Memorandum on Certification for Major Narcotics Producing and Transit Countries Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/327703