Locals reject label as world's No2 cocaine users

28th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2007, MADRID - The mayor of a city labeled by a U.N. report as the world's No. 2 for cocaine consumption rejected the findings.

28 June 2007

MADRID - The mayor of a city labeled by a U.N. report as the world's No. 2 for cocaine consumption rejected the findings.

The report said residents of Miranda de Ebro, an industrial city of 40,000 set in an agriculturally-rich valley, snorted a daily average of 97 lines, or 100 milligrams, of cocaine for every 1,000 residents aged 15 to 64.

"This report has nothing to do with reality," Mayor Fernando Campo Crespo told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

The U.N. report placed cocaine intake in Miranda de Ebro before major metropolises like Washington, London and Paris. Only New York's intake dwarfed Miranda de Ebro's with a reported consumption of 134 lines a day for every 1,000 residents.

The U.N. study _ World Drug Report 2007 _ was based on an analysis of waste samples collected from the Ebro River, which runs through the city. The study looked for the presence of the compound benzoylecgonine, a chemical excreted in the urine of cocaine users.

"The waste of the residents of Miranda de Ebro does not flow into our Ebro River," mayor Campo said.

Campo said sewage from Miranda de Ebro went straight to a waste treatment facility before going anywhere else.

"It's a little surprising," an officer in Miranda de Ebro said, speaking under his force's condition of anonymity which forbids an officer to identify himself.

In Spain, samples were also collected from the capital Madrid and Aranda de Duero, 100 miles (165 kilometers) north of Madrid.

"We do not think there is any credibility to this report," Campo Crespo said.

Similar tests in Italy's River Po in 2005 also found the Po Valley, surrounded by 5 million residents, carried an estimated nine pounds (four kilograms) of cocaine daily.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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