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Drug Traffic / Mexico #41311

ABC Evening News for Thursday, Dec 02, 1976
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(Studio) Fighters of heroin traffic now have 2 supply sources to worry about, Mexico and South East Asia, after believing they'd stopped supply of opium from Turkey to France, where it was made into heroin. Producer Bennie Cohen has made film with regard to Mexico problem. Poor Mexican farmers take advantage of demand for heroin by growing hidden fields of poppies in Sierra Madre Mts. north of Mexico City. [John NICHOLS - says poppies not good for anything after blooming.] Nichols is Montana pilot who fought in Vietnam war and is now part of Mexico-US effort to fight poppy-growing industry in Mexico. Program purpose is to get to poppies and spray them before they're made into heroin, instead of just waiting to try to catch drugs going over borders. [DEA regional director Ralph FRIAS - says answer to Mexican drug problems is eradication.] Reporter notes methods used by Mexican and American teams to locate and eradicate poppy fields; main part of program based in Culiacan, Mexico. [Mexico drug program director Alejandro GERTZ-MANERO - says program has killed almost all that farmers try to harvest. Says if program conts., eventually present stockpiles will be gone and traffic cut. Notes improvements needed in program.] Hazards of procedure noted. [NICHOLS - talks about hazards and program in general. Describes process of getting opium gum from poppy.]
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

Reasoner, Harry

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