Peru and Bolivia Cooperate to Eradicate and Interdict Drugs

Peru and Bolivia Cooperate to Eradicate and Interdict Drugs

By Dialogo
December 04, 2014




Peruvian and Bolivian and law enforcement authorities are preparing to launch joint eradication efforts targeting illegal coca leaf crops along their shared border in 2015. They’ll also cooperate on interdictions of drug shipments on Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between the two countries.

The 1,047-kilometer border shared by both countries is home to many farmers who grow coca leaves illegally to produce cocaine. For example, in the provinces of Sandia and San Antonio de Putina on the Peruvian side of the border, farmers grew more than 3,200 hectares of illegal coca leaf crops in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Improving public safety along the border is a high priority for both countries, since it includes important trade and travel routes used by business people and travelers.

Border initiative part of a broad security agreement


The initiative is part of a cooperative security agreement signed on November 11 by Alberto Otárola, the Executive President of Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), and Felipe Cáceres, Bolivia’s Vice Minister of Social Defense and Controlled Substances. That agreement was the key component of the Fourth Meeting of the Joint Peru-Bolivia Commission on cooperation on the war on drugs, held in Lima for representatives from both countries. “It seems to me that we are entering a new stage with both countries in their approach to this process, which has already required coordination and urgent measures from both governments, along our common border,” Otárola said when he and his Bolivian counterpart signed the agreement.

Providing legal alternatives


Cooperating to eradicate illegal coca leaf crops and interdict drug shipments are not the only components of the bilateral agreement.

Drug policy authorities from both countries are also encouraging farmers in the border region to grow alternative, legal crops, such as coffee and cacao beans, which are used to produce chocolate.

These types of initiatives have proven successful in some regions – in Peru’s San Martin department and Monzon Valley, for example, where farmers who once cultivated illegal coca leaves are now growing alternative crops.

Cracking down on narco-flights


The increased level of cooperation in the border region should help police from both countries detect and disrupt narco-flights. Drug traffickers often use small airplanes and clandestine airstrips to transport cocaine from Peru’s Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley (VRAEM) region to Bolivia. .

“These light aircraft travel back and forth between Bolivia and Peru, transporting illegal drugs along routes that we are identifying with the assistance of specialists in both countries,” Otárola said. “We will be able to announce a comprehensive response through the domestic and coordinated actions that we are going to have.”

On a typical day, three to six narco-planes travel from the VRAEM to Bolivia or Brazil, or from those countries to Peru, according to an investigation by the website IDL Reporteros
. Each narco-flight carries an average of about 300 kilograms of cocaine paste.

Officials are optimistic that the bilateral agreement will improve public safety in the border region.

“In the first three or six months of next year, we will already be seeing very concrete results from this meeting,” Bolivia’s Cáceres said during the signing ceremony.



Peruvian and Bolivian and law enforcement authorities are preparing to launch joint eradication efforts targeting illegal coca leaf crops along their shared border in 2015. They’ll also cooperate on interdictions of drug shipments on Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between the two countries.

The 1,047-kilometer border shared by both countries is home to many farmers who grow coca leaves illegally to produce cocaine. For example, in the provinces of Sandia and San Antonio de Putina on the Peruvian side of the border, farmers grew more than 3,200 hectares of illegal coca leaf crops in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Improving public safety along the border is a high priority for both countries, since it includes important trade and travel routes used by business people and travelers.

Border initiative part of a broad security agreement


The initiative is part of a cooperative security agreement signed on November 11 by Alberto Otárola, the Executive President of Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), and Felipe Cáceres, Bolivia’s Vice Minister of Social Defense and Controlled Substances. That agreement was the key component of the Fourth Meeting of the Joint Peru-Bolivia Commission on cooperation on the war on drugs, held in Lima for representatives from both countries. “It seems to me that we are entering a new stage with both countries in their approach to this process, which has already required coordination and urgent measures from both governments, along our common border,” Otárola said when he and his Bolivian counterpart signed the agreement.

Providing legal alternatives


Cooperating to eradicate illegal coca leaf crops and interdict drug shipments are not the only components of the bilateral agreement.

Drug policy authorities from both countries are also encouraging farmers in the border region to grow alternative, legal crops, such as coffee and cacao beans, which are used to produce chocolate.

These types of initiatives have proven successful in some regions – in Peru’s San Martin department and Monzon Valley, for example, where farmers who once cultivated illegal coca leaves are now growing alternative crops.

Cracking down on narco-flights


The increased level of cooperation in the border region should help police from both countries detect and disrupt narco-flights. Drug traffickers often use small airplanes and clandestine airstrips to transport cocaine from Peru’s Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley (VRAEM) region to Bolivia. .

“These light aircraft travel back and forth between Bolivia and Peru, transporting illegal drugs along routes that we are identifying with the assistance of specialists in both countries,” Otárola said. “We will be able to announce a comprehensive response through the domestic and coordinated actions that we are going to have.”

On a typical day, three to six narco-planes travel from the VRAEM to Bolivia or Brazil, or from those countries to Peru, according to an investigation by the website IDL Reporteros
. Each narco-flight carries an average of about 300 kilograms of cocaine paste.

Officials are optimistic that the bilateral agreement will improve public safety in the border region.

“In the first three or six months of next year, we will already be seeing very concrete results from this meeting,” Bolivia’s Cáceres said during the signing ceremony.
The high ranking officials in the VRAE zone should be investigated because the small planes leave as if they were commercial flights right under the military's nose. Really good news The agreement would be great Thank you armed forces for the support you give us Seizing drugs is a huge scam because the governments don't do anything. The narcos have free rein to go anywhere it's a scam that no one believes. They cross borders into any country they want with just a few bribes and that's it. Well I think it's a good agreement. But we hear about agreements all the time, and nothing good comes from the governments. I think they themselves are traffickers or friends of the traffickers. Let's see what's good this year
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