Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, urged the Reagan administration yesterday to enforce a recent law requiring the president to cut foreign aid to countries that do not cooperate in efforts to block the international flow of illegal narcotics.
Rangel, in Vienna for a meeting of the United Nations International Narcotic Control Board, made his statement in response to a State Department report to Congress Thursday that claims "general progress" among drug-producing countries but shows that crops of marijuana, coca and opium poppies in most of those countries were more plentiful in 1984 than 1983.
"I hope the report alerts the president of the serious problem that demands his attention and that of Secretary of State George Shultz," Rangel said in a telephone interview.
Jon Thomas, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics Matters, testified last November before the President's Commission on Organized Crime that he would not hesitate to order a reduction in aid to a country that refuses to cooperate in the antidrug effort. But Thomas said he does not yet see a situation in which he would make such a recommendation.
The United States has diplomatic relations with 10 of the 13 known major drug-producing countries, and drug crops increased last year in seven of those countries. All seven received U.S. aid.
"Each president . . . is influenced by a State Department that's more concerned with friendly relations with these drug-producing countries than . . . with responding to the laws of Congress," said Rangel.
He said he and Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (N.Y.), the ranking Republican on the Select Committee on Narcotics, plan to ask the House leadership to go to President Reagan and ask for harsher treatment of countries that don't work to eradicate drug traffic.
"They administration officials give great speeches about preemptive strikes against terrorists, but now drug traffickers are tracking down and kidnaping our DEA agents and threatening to blow up our courthouses," Rangel said.
He was referring to the Feb. 7 kidnaping of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent by drug traffickers in Guadalajara, Mexico, and recent publicity about a Colombian hit squad dispatched to the United States to attack DEA agents and possibly bomb federal buildings. The agent, Enrique Camarena Salazar, has not been found.
In a written statement released with the State Department report, Thomas said 1984 "was a year of building bases for enhanced control programs and creating opportunities for large-scale actions in 1985."
Conceding "disappointments" in controlling illegal drugs, Thomas said, "On balance, the events of 1984 put us on the threshold of what should be our most productive year ever in narcotics control."
Strong incentives are influencing source nations to act in their own interests to control narcotics trafficking, the report said. Producing nations are experiencing abuse and addiction among their youth and the demand for treatment and prevention has increased, it said.
But production of coca leaf, from which cocaine is derived, increased in several countries, including Peru and Bolivia, and marijuana cultivation in Mexico and Belize went up.