Mexican opium farmers expand plots to supply U.S. heroin boom

Mexican government seizures of opium and eradication of poppy plantations have skyrocketed in recent years
03 February 2015
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Red and purple blossoms with fat, opium-filled bulbs blanket the remote creek sides and gorges of the Filo Mayor mountains in the southern state of Guerrero. The multibillion-dollar Mexican opium trade starts here, with poppy farmers so poor they live in wood-plank, tin-roofed shacks with no indoor plumbing. Once smaller-scale producers of low-grade black tar, Mexican drug traffickers are now refining opium paste into high-grade white heroin and flooding the world’s largest market for illegal drugs, using the distribution routes they built for marijuana and cocaine.

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Time (US)
Tuesday, February 3, 2015