Introduction: Into the Thick of It 1. The Golden Triangle and Burma 2. The Wa 3. The Opium Trade 4. Heroin Production and Trafficking 5. The Methamphetamine Business 6. Drug Use 7. Drug Control 8. The Business and Politics of Drugs
Ko-lin Chin is Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. He is the author of several books, including Heijin: Organized Crime, Business, and Politics in Taiwan; Smuggled Chinese: Clandestine Immigration to the United States; and Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity.
"Opium, a relatively recent product in Burma, and its derivative, heroin, have become Burma's major illegal commodities. Their production and trade is dominated by the Wa tribe... Chin seeks to provide a brief history of the Wa; the opium, heroin, and methamphetamine trades; drug use and control; and the drug business and politics. In the absence of reliable historical studies and hard data, the author assembled research teams, devised questionnaires, and used the information acquired to develop his narrative."-Choice, September 2009 "Ko-lin Chin provides a rare insight into drug production and trafficking in Southeast Asia. Despite the Golden Triangle being a pivotal force in the global drug trade, its inaccessibility means that it is rarely the focus of academic research. Not only doesChin successfully negotiate this hidden world of northern Burma to do his field research, but his work is remarkable in placing its drug trade in a geopolitical context. His field research involves numerous interviews with people either involved in, or affected by, the drug trade, ranging from opium growers to state officials. He weaves together his research findings with a detailed historical account of the political and ethnic influences that have fostered the drug trade in this area, including both the opium trade and, more recently, methamphetamine production and trafficking. His courage and objectivity in this venture is admirable."-Rebecca McKetin, Pacific Affairs "This is a necessary book for students of global drug commerce and a rare glimpse of contemporary life in the northern Burmese hill country, a region inaccessible even by the reclusive standards of Myanmar."-Dean R. Gerstein, Contemporary Sociology "Ko-lin Chin has written a seminal study of one of Southeast Asia's most destructive conflicts and deadliest exports, and this book deserves to be read by Asian scholars across a broad spectrum of disciplines. The author demonstrates how to conduct fieldwork in dangerous locations, never lose sight of the human factor, and also how to construct a balanced book of great use in the broader academic and policy worlds."-David Scott Mathieson, Contemporary Southeast Asia "The Golden Triangle provides a richly detailed account of drug production, use, trade, and enforcement in the region. Ko-lin Chin's individual site narratives of the Wa residents are unique."-David Steinberg, Georgetown University "Ko-lin Chin has written a detailed account of the most recent developments of both heroin and methamphetamine production and trafficking in the Wa Special Region of northern Burma-that is, the heart of the modern Golden Triangle. His book exposes the great complexity of the actors and structure of the drug trade in one of the world's most remote and unknown areas."-Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) "Ko-lin Chin has done it again, offering up a rare and extraordinary look into the secret world of opium production deep in the mountains of northern Burma. Through masterful field skills and sheer tenacity, Chin interviewed drug lords whose exploits became folklore, mingled with opium growers whose meager existence saw few options, and talked to soldiers who sustained a self-proclaimed regime forsaken by the outside world on a monthly salary of two dollars plus a bag of rice. This book will remain a sourcebook on opium production and drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle for years to come and a fine example for field researchers aspiring to undertake 'dangerous' topics."-Sheldon X. Zhang, San Diego State University