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How CIA-backed Rebels Helped Fuel Southeast Asia’s Billion-Dollar Drug Trade

How CIA-backed Rebels Helped Fuel Southeast Asia’s Billion-Dollar Drug Trade

“My father taught me that to be a man, I must drink,” Ho said, emptying his glass before quickly refilling it. MAE SALONG, Thailand – With its streets lined with restaurants serving steaming bowls of Yunnanese noodles, red lanterns hanging outside homes, and Mandarin as the lingua franca, Mae Salong is more Chinese enclave than Thai town. While most KMT troops escaped seawards to Taiwan, thousands of fighters from its 93rd Division, stationed in southerly Yunnan, were cut-off from their brethren, and chased by Mao’s troops into Burma, as Myanmar was then called. This surge in Southeast Asia’s narcotics trade was also achieved with at least some input from America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), according to McCoy. But the grizzled KMT fighters that had settled in Mae Salong were still heavily involved in the drugs trade, reports from the time show.

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