European Union to Assist Bolivia in Fight Against Drugs

By Dialogo
August 24, 2012

The European Union is interested in supporting Bolivia in combating drug trafficking, said Francisco García, head of the European cooperation section, in an interview on August 22 with the newspaper Página Siete.

“In the past 10 years we focused on supporting the themes of integral development and coca reduction, and not so much on the themes of interdiction, policing and customs, on which the United States and Brazilian governments focused”, García said.

In 2008, the European Union donated $ 234 million through 2014 to Bolivia, which served essentially to support the eradication of coca, help farmer unions, and prevent the expansion of the plantings, and include a legal study regarding the consumption of the plant.

In March 2010, Bolivia asked the EU and the UN for an annual support of $ 59 million (a request that has not yet been answered), because the cooperation of the United States fell from $ 80 million to $ 10 million between 2006 and 2012.

According to the UN, Bolivia has 31,000 hectares of coca, of which only 12,000 is legally recognized for traditional uses, such as chewing, infusion and Andean religious rites.