• Connect with us on Linkedin

Bolivia Reduces Coca Crop for Second Straight Year: UN

Aerial shot of coca crops in Yungas Aerial shot of coca crops in Yungas

Bolivia has reduced coca production for the second straight year, according to a United Nations study, a trend that the UN attributes to government efforts to contain illegal production of the crop.

Linkedin
Google +

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says Bolivia’s coca production dropped by 7 percent from 2011 to 2012. (See full report in PDF) This follows an 11 percent reduction from the year before.

The biggest drop came in the largest coca growing region of the country known as Yungas de la Paz, which went from 18,200 hectares to 16,900 hectares, according to the UNODC. 

The agency says that two major factors played a role in the drop: 1) the government’s efforts to “eradicate/rationalize” the size of the fields; 2) the drop in yield due to the long periods in which the fields have been cultivated.

Bolivia allows 11,000 hectares of coca to be grown legally for local sale and consumption in traditional forms.

bolivia coca graph unodc story

InSight Crime Analysis

The results may surprise some in the US government who say that Bolivia is not complying with its commitments to lower drug production and trafficking. Bolivia has expelled most US anti-narcotics agencies, while the US announced in May it was shutting down its last remaining offices there.

Still, there are some contradictory figures in the report. The price of coca went down five percent, according to the UNODC, a fact that could suggest an increase in supply.

Seizures of cocaine paste and processed cocaine, or cocaine hydrochloride (HCl), also went in opposite directions. Cocaine paste seizures rose significantly, according to the report, suggesting that Bolivia is becoming a more regular supplier of the rising crack cocaine markets in neighboring Argentina and Brazil.

HCl seizures, meanwhile, were down, which may not necessarily mean that cocaine production has dropped. What is not known -- and what the UNODC says it is studying -- is the current yield of Bolivian coca. Still, the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, in its most recent statement on cocaine production in the region, says that overall production of cocaine in Bolivia is down to an estimated 155 metric tons, from 190 metric tons in 2011.

In Colombia, yields have risen even while the number of hectares under coca cultivation has dropped, accounting for the steady production of HCl throughout this period when one would expect a more dramatic drop in cocaine production.

The report also follows the declaration of another major export industry leader, coffee, that its producers were switching to coca. That declaration was, however, more speculative than scientific.

Bolivia Coca Crops (Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

bolivia coca boliviamap unodc story

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Guyana May be Placed on Money Laundering Blacklist Amid Rise in Organized Crime

Guyana May be Placed on Money Laundering Blacklist Amid Rise in Organized Crime

Guyana is at risk of being placed on an international money laundering black list after the government failed to pass relevant legislation, even as organized crime in this remote South American nation is on the...

Read more

HSBC, Shell Implicated in Argentina Money Laundering Scandal

HSBC, Shell Implicated in Argentina Money Laundering Scandal

Authorities in Argentina have warned of possible money laundering by HSBC bank in a case involving Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company Shell -- the latest in a long line of accusations of the bank's involvement in...

Read more

Are Venezuela Police 'Intelligent Patrols' Reducing Crime as Govt Claims?

Are Venezuela Police 'Intelligent Patrols' Reducing Crime as Govt Claims?

Authorities in Venezuela say the country's "Intelligent Patrolling" policing program has led to a nearly 18 percent drop in crime, but under-reporting of crime and the government's politicized use of statistics cast doubt over the...

Read more

IDRC9-01