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US: Myanmar still failing in drugs fight

March 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says Myanmar remains the world’s second-largest producer of opium and isn’t doing enough to combat the illicit drugs trade.

In an annual report, the State Department singles out Myanmar, Bolivia and Venezuela as having “demonstrably failed” to adhere to their international obligations to combat illegal narcotics.

But for the third consecutive year, President Barack Obama waived sanctions on U.S. assistance to Myanmar, citing the political change in the former military state and its interest in improving its international drug control cooperation. Venezuela also got a waiver.

The findings are in the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, which was submitted Wednesday to Congress.

Opium is the raw material of heroin. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer, with four times more land under poppy cultivation than Myanmar last year.

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