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>> Mexico taking an unprecedented step towards greater cooperation with not only the United Nations, but also with the United States in the fight against the production of illegal drugs. Reuters learning exclusively of drug surveillance of sites, where Mexican opium is being destroyed. Mexico correspondent Michael O' Boyle.>> Last week the Mexican military flew out US military officials, officials from the embassy, and the United Nations out to poppy eradication fields.
This this is the first time the military has done this in at least ten years since when the army took over most of the operations for eradicating illegal drug crops in Mexico.>> The army hopes that by becoming more transparent, it can shore up its image on two fronts, sources tell Reuters.
At home, it faces criticism over human rights abuses in the decade since taking over the fight against drug gangs, while abroad, it wants to convince Washington it's part of the solution.>> Experts say this is a pretty big step for the Mexican military. Now while the US has worked closely with the Mexican Navy to take out drug lords and the United States has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars to aid civilian law enforcement, Mexico's military has been less willing to cooperate.
The United Nations and the United States have had much more access to observing drug eradication efforts in other countries like Colombia, Peru, Afghanistan. But Mexico, there really seems to be a change of heart right now among the military, that's what we're hearing from our sources. They want to get credit for what they consider very significant increases in their eradication effort.
>> That shift coming with the Trump administration expected to take a harder stand. Mexico's poppy production has more than doubled since 2013, and is now big enough to produce 70 tons of heroin, far outstripping the estimated demand coming from the US.