Chile: Plan to Combat Drug Trafficking on Border with Peru and Bolivia

By Dialogo
October 11, 2011

The Chilean Government has presented a plan to combat drug trafficking in the country’s north, along its borders with Peru and Bolivia, at a cost of around $66 million between now and 2014.
The program, called North Border, seeks to reinforce the sea and land borders of the Chilean regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapaca, and Antofagasta, Interior and Public Safety Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said.
Its chief objective “is to prevent drugs and contraband from entering or leaving the country by way of ports, unauthorized coastal sectors, border crossings, or unauthorized crossing points,” Hinzpeter explained.
Chile is becoming “a nexus between the producers of drugs and their final destination,” the minister added, specifying that so far this year, more than seven tons of cocaine have been found at European ports on ships coming from Chile.
The plan entails an investment of around $66 million between 2011 and 2014 and calls for the implementation of technologies such as high-resolution thermal-imaging cameras and special surveillance antennas, as well as building up border-crossing facilities, tracking vehicles, and other technical elements.
The maritime border, meanwhile, will be reinforced with fixed land radars and coastal watch systems.
Chile’s northern land border stretches across a distance of 1,300 km. According to the Government, around 30 unauthorized crossing points have been detected along the border with Peru and 106 along the border with Bolivia.