Bolivia and Brazil Discuss Fight against Drug Trafficking in La Paz
By Dialogo March 30, 2011
Bolivia and Brazil discussed joint programs against drug trafficking on 28 and 29 March in La Paz, the Bolivian Vice Ministry of Social Defense, the chief political office directing drug interdiction, announced.
“Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti and Brazilian Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo met to discuss an agenda regarding the fight against drugs,” the communications office of the Vice Ministry of Social Defense affirmed to AFP.
According to the public schedule, two technical and political commissions worked in La Paz toward the signing of agreements against narcotics trafficking, while the two ministers inspected coca eradication programs in El Chapare (in central Bolivia) on 29 March.
In the town of Chimoré, Llorenti and Cardozo also observed a demonstration of unmanned aircraft, which Brazil will provide, and radar control systems, for the purpose of combatting drug mafias.
According to the UN, Bolivia has 30,900 hectares of coca, of which only 12,000 are legal (this production is for chewing, infusion, and Andean religion rites).
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota indicated on a visit to La Paz last weekend that his country intends to support Bolivia (the world’s third-largest producer of cocaine after Peru and Colombia) in the fight against drug trafficking.
A significant portion of the drugs Bolivia manufactures end up in Brazil, according to the Bolivian government.
Brazil and Bolivia share a border 3,100 km long. Many border towns are centers of a free-flowing drug trade and the smuggling of weapons and stolen cars.