Asia: Afghan Opium Eradication Campaign Off to Violent Start 4/15/2005

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/382/afghanistan.shtml

What was supposed to have been a model for the Afghan government's new opium eradication program ended in violent confrontation Monday as poppy-growing peasants in the town of Maiwand in Kandahar province greeted Afghan eradicators led by American mercenaries with rocks, clubs, and bullets. According to reports in Reuters and the British newspaper The Independent, at least nine people, including one American, were wounded, and as many as five people were killed.

incised papaver specimens (opium poppies
The Bush administration has budgeted some $700 million this year for opium eradication in Afghanistan, which last year produced an estimated 86% of the global opium crop. But the US and its Afghan ally, President Hamid Karzai, are in a tough position: If they are successful in disrupting the opium crop, they face the wrath of peasants, millions of whom are making a living from the crop. That could destabilize the Karzai government as it and the Americans battle remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Some 4,000 protesting villagers blocked the highway from Kandahar with burning tires and confronted the eradicators, and some villagers began throwing rocks at the intruders. Then, according to Reuters, both sides opened fire with assault rifles. "One local was killed and six wounded," a local official told the news agency. Three eradicators, including one identified as a US soldier by Maiwand district chief Khan Agha, were also wounded.

By day's end, according to The Independent, the American security contractors were said to be hunkered down behind razor wire at a protected camp, and the death toll had risen to five. The newspaper reported dense smoke hanging over the town of Maiwan, hundreds of rounds fired, and American helicopter gunships flying overhead.

Maiwan was chosen as a demonstration project because it was considered friendly territory in firm government control. But by mid-week, local political leaders were unable to negotiate a resumption of eradication with angry farmers. Some farmers complained of inequities in the eradication program. "The farmers are angry with the Americans and the Kabul government," one told the Independent. "It is only the fields of the poor that are being destroyed, not the fields of the rich." He also said that wealthy warlords get to keep their stockpiles of opium while farmers lose their crops. And he complained that crops will be spared if the farmer pays bribes or shares kinship ties with the eradicators.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #382 -- 4/15/2005

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Editorial: A Moral Fog | Feature: Chill Over Pain Management Deepens as Leading Specialist is Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison | Feature: New Reform Group Targets Colorado Campuses with Referendums to Equalize Marijuana and Alcohol Violation Penalties | Feature: Prison Rape: The Stories Need to Be Told | DRCNet Book Review: Orgies of the Hemp Eaters | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Harm Reduction: San Francisco Ordinance Allowing Syringe Sales without Prescription Now in Effect | Meth Madness: Illinois Bill to Heighten Methamphetamine Penalties Moving | Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Initiative Getting Under Way | Africa: Ugandan Farmers Call for Marijuana Legalization | Asia: Thailand Drug War, Part III | Asia: Police in Ho Chi Minh City Detain 650 in Nightclub Drug Sweep | Asia: South Korea to Institute Treatment for Drug Offenders | Asia: Afghan Opium Eradication Campaign Off to Violent Start | Congress: How Did Your US Representative Vote on Medical Marijuana Last Year? | Alert: Please Help Students Losing Financial Aid for College Because of Drug Convictions Get Their Aid Back -- Alerts Online for the House, Senate, and Arizona and Rhode Island Legislatures | Weekly: This Week in History | Online: Audio Web Chat with Dr. Andrew Weil | Job Listing: Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar |

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]