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Written by Alfred Mccoy   
Sunday, 10 January 2010 00:00

The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia


Examining and exposing the true nature of the international heroin traffic has provided interesting copy for. some writers and brushes with danger for others. Very early into our research we discovered that there were facts we were just not supposed to know, people we were not supposed to talk to, and questions we were not supposed to ask.

But there was a large group of friends who cooperated with us, and we with them, in uncovering the political dimensions of the international heroin traffic. There are many persons in Southeast Asia who helped us immeasurably by supplying us with firsthand accounts of incidents and other "inside" information whose names may not be mentioned out of respect for their personal safety, but whose assistance is greatly appreciated. This group includes students, past and present government officials, law enforcement personnel, and journalists.

We would like to acknowledge the many newspapers and periodicals that opened their files to us, including Far Eastern Economic Review, La Marsedlaise, Lao Presse, Le Monde, Le Provencal, and the South China Morning Post. We are grateful to members of the press corps in Hong Kong, London, Paris, Saigon, Singapore, Vientiane, and the United States who shared their information and informants with us and gave us many leads, some of which they themselves were unaware or unwilling to follow up. Among this group we would like to thank Simon Albury (British Broadcasting Corporation), T. D. Allman, Jacques Decornoy (Le Monde), Leo Goodstadt (Far Eastern Economic Re-view), Grace Helms (Milford Citizen), John Hughes (Christian Science Monitor), and Peter Dale Scott.

We were assisted in our research in London by Adrian Cowell and Cornelius Hawkridge and in Paris by Jean Chesnqaux, Phillipe Devillers, General F. Gambiez, Annick Levy, Guy Mor‚chand, Laura Summers, and Christine White. In the United States we were helped and advised by Fred Branfman, James Boyd of the Fund for Investigative Journal-ism, Antonia Dul, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Litshultz, Professor Karl Peltzer of Yale University, and Virginia Lee Read. In Laos we are grateful to our interpreter, Phin Manivong, and our photographer/guide, John Everingham.

Finally, we are most indebted to Elisabeth Jakab of Harper & Row, who, in addition to being a superb editor, was a constant source of encouragement and inspiration.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2011 23:42

Our valuable member Alfred Mccoy has been with us since Sunday, 19 December 2010.

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