HomeNewsBriefBolivia Fighting Off Lake Titicaca Drug Trafficking: Govt
BRIEF

Bolivia Fighting Off Lake Titicaca Drug Trafficking: Govt

BOLIVIA / 23 NOV 2015 BY ELIJAH STEVENS EN

According to a Bolivian government official, the country has made significant progress in discouraging drug traffickers from using routes across Lake Titicaca, which connects Peru with Bolivia. However, it is also likely that Peru-based criminal organizations may have simply turned to alternative routes.

Bolivia's security forces have had a positive impact in combating drug trafficking along Lake Titicaca, Deputy Minister for Social Defense Felipe Caceres told newspaper El Deber

"We haven't seen [drug] trafficking in that sector for about a year," the minister told the newspaper. He credited this to "constant" ground, aerial, and naval operations, adding that Bolivian authorities were collaborating with their counterparts in Peru to monitor drug trafficking activity. 

In March 2015, Bolivia launched a joint military-police security surge meant to target contraband and drug trafficking across Lake Titicaca, one of Latin America's largest lakes, located at the border between Bolivia and Peru. This followed a 2014 agreement between the two countries to collaborate in fighting crime along their shared frontier. 

InSight Crime Analysis

 Caceres' bold claim that drug trafficking along Lake Titicaca has all but ceased may be overlooking the possibility that criminal organizations are using other routes. According to a report by Peru's anti-drug force, known as the Dirandro, Peruvian criminal organizations continue to send drug mules -- known as "cargachos" -- to move cocaine paste across the border by foot, carrying the drugs in backpacks, reported El Deber

SEE ALSO: Evo's Challenge: Bolivia the Drug Hub

These mules typically depart for Bolivia from the Peruvian districts of Alto Pichas and Palcazu, where drug planes arrive from Peru's Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys, a hub for coca cultivation known as the VRAEM. In addition to carrying their own food, the mules transport up to 20 kilos of cocaine paste on average, traveling in groups of up to 80 people, according to the Dirandro report, El Deber reported.

There have been previous reports from Peru detailing how these "cargachos" may be transporting significant amounts of cocaine and cocaine paste across the Peru-Bolivia border. So while the increased collaboration between Peru and Bolivia could very well be bringing in results along Lake Titicaca, there is obviously still more work to be done. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links 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.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 13 OCT 2020

Authorities claim that rising cocaine seizures along the Bolivia-Brazil border have come as a direct result of stepped-up enforcement, but…

BOLIVIA / 24 AUG 2018

The United Nations illicit crop monitoring program reported an increase in coca prices and new crops in Bolivia in 2017,…

PERU / 7 SEP 2011

Organized gangs in Peru are increasingly siphoning oil from the Northern Peruvian Pipeline, according to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…