This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
For 77-year-old Safura Ahmedova, living in Azerbaijan along one of the globe’s most notorious drug-trade routes has come at immense cost: two sons and a husband dead, and another son in prison.
“My elder son was married and had a good job. He later became a drug addict,” Ahmedova tells RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service. “We struggled to cure him, but it didn’t help. He shot up, poisoning his body, and died. He left behind two children.”
But the drugs that have overrun Ahmedova’s home district of Astara, which borders Iran and the Caspian Sea and makes up Azerbaijan’s southernmost corner, were not done destroying her life and family.