The opium poppy that has long bloomed across the mountains of northern Laos has almost been wiped out by the government's drastic eradication campaign.
But what is being hailed as a victory by the international anti-narcotics agencies has also spawned a humanitarian crisis, due to the massive displacement of hill tribes and their loss of economic livelihood.
The campaign was spearheaded by the US government, with support from the European Union.
U.S. Department of State
International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)
The first course offered by ILEA Bangkok began March 8, 1999, and provided ten days of classroom instruction focusing on precursor chemical control and the investigation of clandestine laboratories. Experts from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board of Thailand served as instructors, with attendees representing Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong.