Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/16/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Enhanced Source and Transit Country Coverage

Title II: Enhanced Eradication and Interdiction Strategy in

Source Countries

Title III: Enhanced Alternative Crop Development Support in

Source Zone and Mycoherbicide Research and Development

Title IV: Enhanced International Law Enforcement Training

Title V: Enhanced Drug Transit and Source Zone Law

Enforcement Operations and Equipment

Title VI: Relationship to Other Laws

Title VII: Criminal Background Checks on Port Employees

Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act - Declares that it is U.S. policy to: (1) reduce the supply of drugs and drug use through an enhanced drug interdiction effort in the major drug transit countries and support a comprehensive supply country eradication and crop substitution program, because a commitment of increased resources in international drug interdiction efforts will create a balanced national drug control strategy among demand reduction, law enforcement, and international drug interdiction efforts; and (2) support policies and dedicate the resources necessary to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the United States by not less than 80 percent by December 31, 2001.

Title I: Enhanced Source and Transit Country Coverage - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of the Treasury for the enhancement of air coverage and operation for drug source and transit countries.

(Sec. 101) Directs the Secretary of Defense to examine and report to specified congressional committees on the available options in the source and transit zones to replace Howard Air Force Base in Panama, specifying U.S. requirements to establish an airbase or airbases for use in support of counternarcotics operations to optimize operational effectiveness in the source and transit zones.

Directs the Secretary of the Navy to transfer certain retired aircraft to the U.S. Customs Service.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 to the Secretary of Transportation for operating expenses of the Coast Guard (including acquisition, construction, and improvement of facilities and equipment) associated with expansion of drug interdiction activities around Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other transit zone areas of operation. Directs the Secretary to accept seven patrol craft for use by the Coast Guard for expanded drug interdiction activities.

(Sec. 103) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of the Treasury for the enhancement of radar coverage in drug source and transit countries.

Directs the Secretary of Defense to examine and report to specified congressional committees on the options available to the United States for improving Relocatable Over the Horizon (ROTHR) capability to provide enhanced radar coverage of narcotics source zone countries in South America and transit zones in the Eastern Pacific.

Title II: Enhanced Eradication and Interdiction Strategy in Source Countries - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of State for the enhancement of drug-related eradication efforts in Colombia.

(Sec. 201) Prohibits U.S. counternarcotics assistance to the Government of Colombia if it negotiates or permits the establishment of any demilitarized zone in which the eradication and interdiction of drug production by Colombian security forces (including the Colombian National Police antinarcotics unit) is prohibited.

(Sec. 202) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of State for the establishment of a third drug interdiction site at Puerto Maldonado, Peru, to support air bridge and riverine missions for enhancement of drug-related eradication efforts. Directs the Secretary of Defense to study and report to the Congress on Peruvian counternarcotics air interdiction requirements.

(Sec. 203) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of State for enhancement of drug-related eradication efforts in Bolivia.

(Sec. 204) Directs the Secretary of State to purchase six Bell 212 high altitude helicopters designated for opium eradication programs in Mexican states of Guerrero, Jalisco, and Sinaloa. Makes this purchase mandate contingent on Mexico's agreement to approve full diplomatic immunity for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel serving in Mexico with privileges granted to U.S. Government officials to carry weapons necessary for the performance of their duties. Authorizes appropriations.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) all U.S. law enforcement personnel serving in Mexico should be accredited the same status under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity as other diplomatic personnel serving at U.S. posts in Mexico; and (2) all Mexican narcotics law enforcement personnel serving in the United States should be accorded the same diplomatic status as DEA personnel serving in Mexico.

(Sec. 205) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for enhanced precursor chemical control projects.

(Sec. 206) Requires any individual serving as an assistant secretary of any Federal agency or department who has primary responsibility for international narcotics control and law enforcement (including the principal deputy of any such assistant) to have substantial professional qualifications in the fields of management and Federal law enforcement or intelligence.

Declares that the Department of Defense (DOD) shall have sole responsibility in implementation and processing of counternarcotics foreign military sales requests (with the Department of State having a consultative role in such requests).

(Sec. 207) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the responsiveness and effectiveness of Department of State international narcotics assistance activities have been hampered due, in part, to the lack of law enforcement expertise by responsible Department of State personnel.

Requires the Director of National Drug Control Policy to report to the appropriate congressional committees on the responsiveness and effectiveness of such activities, including recommendations regarding whether the overseas activities of the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs should be transferred to the Department of Justice. Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Enhanced Alternative Crop Development Support in Source Zone - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) for certain alternative crop development programs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.

(Sec. 302) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 to the Secretary of Agriculture to support the counternarcotics research efforts of the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

(Sec. 303) Requires the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop, and report to the Congress on, a ten-year master plan for the use of mycoherbicides to control narcotic crops (including coca, poppy, and cannabis) in the United States and internationally.

Title IV: Enhanced International Law Enforcement Training - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of Justice for the establishment and operation of international law enforcement academies to carry out law enforcement training activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, Thailand, and South Africa.

(Sec. 401) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the DOT and the Department of the Treasury for the joint establishment, operation, and maintenance in San Juan, Puerto Rico, of a center for training law enforcement personnel of countries located in Latin America and the Caribbean in matters relating to maritime law enforcement (including customs-related ports management matters).

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the DOT for the establishment, operation, and maintenance of maritime training vessels.

(Sec. 402) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of Justice for: (1) substantial exchanges for Mexican judges, prosecutors, and police; and (2) enhanced support for the Brazilian Federal Police Training Center.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the DOT for operation and maintenance for locating and operating Coast Guard assets so as to strengthen the capability of the Coast Guard of Panama to patrol the Atlantic and Pacific coasts for drug enforcement and interdiction activities. Makes members of the national police of Panama eligible to receive training through the International Military Education Training (IMET) program.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of Justice for operation and maintenance for support for the Venezuelan Judicial Technical Police Counterdrug Intelligence Center.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the DOT and the Department of the Treasury for the buildup of local coast guard and port control in: (1) Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, Ecuador; (2) Haiti and the Dominican Republic; and (3) Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (Central America).

(Sec. 403) Authorizes the DEA Administrator to transfer or lease a specified amount of nonlethal equipment each year to foreign law enforcement organizations for the purpose of establishing and carrying out cooperative illicit narcotics control activities.

Title V: Enhanced Drug Transit and Source Zone Law Enforcement Operations and Equipment - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the DEA and the U.S. Customs Service of Department of the Treasury for enhancement of counternarcotics operations in drug transit and source countries.

(Sec. 501) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2001 for the Department of State for the deployment of commercial unclassified intelligence and imaging data and a Passive Coherent Location System for counternarcotics and interdiction purposes in the Western Hemisphere.

Directs the Secretary of Defense to examine and propose to specified congressional committees recommendations regarding any organizational changes to optimize counterdrug activities, including certain alternative cost-sharing arrangements.

(Sec. 502) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary of Defense should revise DOD's Global Military Force Policy in order to: (1) treat DOD international drug interdiction and counter-drug activities as a military operation other than war (thus elevating its priority to just below that for war); and (2) allocate DOD assets to drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in accordance with such priority.

(Sec. 503) Directs the Secretary of Defense to assist in keeping illegal drugs out of the United States by assigning members of the armed forces to assist: (1) the Immigration and Naturalization Service in preventing the entry of drug traffickers and narcotics into the United States; and (2) the U.S. Customs Service in the inspection of cargo, vehicles, and aircraft at points of entry into the United States.

Title VI: Relationship to Other Laws - Declares that funds authorized to be appropriated for any Federal department or agency for FY 1999 through 2001 are in addition to funds authorized to be appropriated for that department or agency for those fiscal years by any other provision of law.

Title VII: Criminal Background Checks on Port Employees - Directs the Attorney General, upon request, to grant access to identification records to any State, county, port authority, or other local jurisdiction to allow it to conduct criminal background checks on employees, or applicants for employment, at any port under its jurisdiction.