DEA is adding more technology to fight heroin.


Mike Vigil, a former drug administration official, told NPR’s Mr. Garcia-navarro why adding more technology to combat Mexican heroin production is unlikely.
LULU garcia-navarro, host:
President trump says another reason he wants to build a wall on the Mexican border is drug trafficking, especially heroin. More than 90 percent of heroin entering the United States comes from Mexico, the dea said. This is where the DEA sends unmanned aircraft and geo-location technology to find out where Mexican farmers grow poppies, which are used to make drugs.
MIKE VIGIL: once you attack the problem in one place, it’s the balloon effect, and it moves to another place.
Garcia-navarro: this is Mike Vigil, former head of international business at DEA and one of the agency’s longest-serving agencies in Mexico.
VIGIL: I remember being a young agent in Mexico many, many years ago. Poppy crops are being planted all over the mountain. You can see a lot of areas, huge areas. As the eradication effort begins, these areas are becoming smaller and smaller. They began to hide them in the ravines. They are hard to find in some areas.
Garcia-navarro: you said it would be more efficient to create markets for other crops in Mexico.
VIGIL: eradication will not work because people rely on poppy cultivation to feed themselves and support their families. We have to give them a choice.
Garcia-navarro: he emphasized that the U.S. relationship with Mexico is more valuable than any technology that the DEA can use.
VIGIL: Mexico has been working with the United States on anti-drug and other issues. One important factor is the exchange of information. We need that, because for me, when it comes to stopping the drugs and other problems that we have to deal with here in the United States, Mexico is the virtual wall, okay?
Garcia-navarro: you mean Mexico is a virtual wall, because they have their own law enforcement agency as a barrier and protect us from these things…
VIGIL: that’s absolutely right. But when you have a demanding personal like Donald trump, you know, accused the mexicans are murderers and rapists, and his plan to abolish the north American free trade agreement, he plans to build a wall – obviously, the national guard soldiers sent to the border – you know, the government of Mexico are very offensive. If he goes on, I can tell you that Mexico may not cooperate. If they don’t cooperate with the U.S. government, we will be in a world of hurt.
Garcia-navarro: Mike Vigil is a former head of the DEA international business and one of the longest-serving American agents in Mexico. Thank you very much.


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