Bolivia Reduced 7% of Coca Crops Area in 2012

By Dialogo
August 07, 2013

Bolivian coca crops were reduced 7%; from 27,200 hectares in 2011 to 25,300 in 2012, according to a report submitted on August 5 by the local U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UNODC delegate in Bolivia, Antonino de Leo, welcomed the “continuity of the positive tendency that started in 2011” regarding the reduction of coca crops.

The data obtained by satellite images and in field studies showed a decrease of 7% in the Yungas de la Paz region, where two thirds of Bolivian coca is grown on a surface of 16,900 hectares.

In addition, the Trópico de Cochabamba region, where the Chapare is located – trade unionist and political cradle of President Evo Morales, coca grower himself – a decrease of 6% to 8,100 hectares.

In other regions of the country where 1% of total coca is grown, the total decrease was 14% up to 320 hectares.

“Decreasing levels of coca crops in Bolivia are due to a combination of eradication efforts headed by the Government, as well as the dialogue with farmers and social incentives,” De Leo said in a report, with the presence of President Morales.

Bolivian legislation recognizes a crop surface of 12,000 hectares as legal, although this had been unofficially extended up to 20,000 hectares by past governments.

The study does not contain data about the traditional coca consumption in Bolivia, such as for medicinal, rituals and chewing purposes by indigenous and lower classes, which will be known in the next months, according to the Deputy Minister of Social Defense, Felipe Cáceres.