"Locked up in a federal prison in Durango, Mexico, is a short, slight, frightened farmer with a pencil mustache and an ugly growth on the side of his neck. I was allowed to interview him, and I'll never forget his face. Nor will I forget that this small bewildered man is at the same time villain and victim in the growing efforts of the Mexican government to find and destroy the sources of the burgeoning drug traffic from Mexico to the United States.
As a villain, this farmer had been growing — deep in the wilds of the mountains of central Mexico — illegal fields of amapola, the poppy from which opium and heroin are extracted. As the victim, he is simply — and sometimes unknowingly — the tool of the rich and powerful traffickers in narcotics who set the farmer up in their illicit business and then let him take the heat if he is caught. If the farmer chooses, instead, to implicate the trafficker or decline the job, he has been told that his family will be executed. That is not an empty threat."