Heroin returns to Golden Triangle
Poppy cultivation has rapidly expanded in the Myanmar and Laos parts of the Golden Triangle, to feed new demands for heroin, chiefly in China, according to a report released Monday.
"After a decade of decline, Southeast Asia is now once again a major opium growing region," it claims.
"The Transnational Institute (TNI), a Dutch-based NGO active in the region, said in a new 115-page report that new markets in China and India have created fresh demand for heroin. But it noted that cross-the-board attempts to ban opium cultivation have "driven hundreds of thousands of families deeper into poverty".
One conclusion of this "relapse in the Golden Triangle" is that attempts by China to replicate Thailand's crop substitution programmes have failed.
Until regional governments and the international community properly addresses poverty, conflict and rising demand for heroin in China, opium bans and eradication will continue to fail," said Tom Kramer, lead author of the report."