Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bolivia: Coca Es Mostly Cocaina.....Cocaine Production Up In Bolivia & Peru Down in Colombia

According to Reuters

LIMA (Reuters) - Cocaine production is growing fastest in Bolivia while Peru is on its way to matching output from Colombia, the top global producer of the drug, U.N. officials said on Friday.

Coca plant cultivation in Bolivia, which expelled U.S. anti-drug agents last year after accusing them of meddling in domestic affairs, grew 6 percent in 2008, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime's annual study of Andean nations.

Estimated cocaine production rose 9 percent to 113 metric tons in the impoverished South American nation.

This is what happens when you leave the fox in charge of the henhouse. The reality that Evo-pologists avoid or ignore is that Morales's main base of support is composed of people who grow coca that is almost exclusively used to make cocaine. They want to be able to avoid annoyances like the DEA so they can grow coca freely so they can sell it or make their own coca paste. So now it is easier to do such things as bribe cops/military people without the "gringos" there, and there is less incentive to do anything about it.


Meanwhile, the UN also found that production also increased in Peru, part which can be attributed to neo-Sendero Luminoso types. Meanwhile growing of coca and production of cocaine actually fell in Colombia. Part of this might have to do with successes against the FARC, who both directly control some of the production and export as well as critical smuggling routes. And also moving against top Paramilitary leaders, who often acted with semi-sanction from officials because they fought the FARC. Critical in the Colombian conflict(s) and efforts against traffickers is territory. The more space in control or disputed by non-governmental armed bands, the more space that could be used to grow and produce cocaine. In a larger sense the conflicts with the guerillas also acted as a buffer against government actions against all parties dealing cocaine. Taking those players out of the equation allowed both direct erradication - as well as for traditional law enforcement to work against drug dealer.

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