Bolivia Increased Illicit Coca Cultivation for Fourth Year, According to INCB

By Dialogo
March 04, 2011

For the fourth consecutive year, Bolivia increased the total area under illicit coca cultivation, according to a report by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN agency, which called on the Andean-Amazonian country to reduce the plantings.

“In 2009, the total area under illicit coca bush cultivation in the Plurinational State of Bolivia increased for the fourth consecutive year – an increase of 22 per cent over the figure for 2005,” the report said.

Morales, who took office in January 2006 for his first term and in 2009 for his second, remains a leader of the coca producers’ unions in El Chapare, in the country’s central region.

The board also exhorted the Bolivian government “to adopt effective policies and strengthen its efforts to eliminate illicit coca bush cultivation on its territory, as well as to address in a decisive manner the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in cocaine,” the 2010 report said.

The INCB celebrated the fact that the regional area under coca cultivation decreased in 2009, due to a reduction in plantings in Colombia, “which counterbalanced increases in the area under such cultivation in Bolivia (Plurinational State of) and Peru.”

In 2009, 59,000 hectares were planted with coca in Peru, 30,900 in Bolivia, and between 67,000 and 68,000 in Colombia.

La Paz acknowledges cultivation of 30,500 hectares, of which only 12,000 are considered legal under current Bolivian law, for coca chewing, the production of medicinal infusions, and the performance of religious rituals.