Police Have Seized 24.8 Tons of Cocaine So Far This Year in Bolivia

By Dialogo
October 29, 2010

Between January and October of this year, the Bolivian police seized a total of 24.8 tons of cocaine, between coca paste and powder cocaine, and 1,018 tons of marijuana, according to an official report issued by the government on 27 October.

According to the report, given to AFP by the Deputy Ministry for Social Defense (the principal government office responsible for the fight against drugs), “22.1 tons of coca paste and 2.7 tons of powder cocaine” were seized in a total of “11,802 police operations” throughout the country.

The deputy ministry emphasized that seizures through October are close to surpassing seizures in 2009, when 29 tons were confiscated, between coca paste and powder cocaine.

The same report adds that 6,632 hectares planted with coca, the raw material for manufacturing cocaine, were eradicated between January and October, and the figure is expected to surpass 8,000 hectares by the end of the year.

There are currently 30,500 hectares planted with coca in Bolivia, according to United Nations figures, of which only 12,000 are recognized as legal, for chewing the leaf, brewing an infusion with it, and using it in Aymara religious rituals.

The United Nations has indicated that the South American country has the capacity to produce 113 tons of cocaine annually.

Brazil is the principal destination for Bolivian drugs.