Coca Eradication in Bolivia Insufficient to Cut Production

Coca Eradication in Bolivia Insufficient to Cut Production

By Dialogo
March 09, 2012

Coca eradication efforts in Bolivia are meeting their objectives in hectares, but as a whole, they are insufficient to reduce high levels of production, according to an annual counternarcotics report published by the U.S. government on March 7.

Bolivia officially eradicated more than 10,000 hectares of coca in 2011, “a significant increase” with respect to the 8,200 hectares eradicated in 2010, and President Evo Morales has announced his intention to reduce coca cultivation to 20,000 hectares between now and 2015, the text explains.

The text limits itself to stating that production remains “high,” and reports that according to Bolivian official figures, 28.35 tons of cocaine were seized in 2011, and 25 large production laboratories were destroyed, one more than in 2010.

Despite this, “the Bolivian public, media, and experts widely perceive” that the challenge posed by illegal terrorist organizations linked to drug trafficking, corruption, and citizen insecurity has increased, according to the report.

“When taken as a whole, Bolivia’s eradication and interdiction results have not been sufficient to adequately reverse high coca cultivation and cocaine production levels,” the text explains.

The 2012 report encourages Evo Morales’s administration to “provide more of its own resources” to fight drug production and drug trafficking.

The United States is decreasing its direct aid to Bolivia, in order to propose training and capacity-building programs for the security forces instead, the report confirms.

This annual report marks the orientation of and budget for U.S. counternarcotics aid.