HomeNewsBriefBolivia Steps Up Fight Against Drugs in Amazon
BRIEF

Bolivia Steps Up Fight Against Drugs in Amazon

BOLIVIA / 17 OCT 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Bolivia's anti-drug task force has increased security operations to combat the growing presence of drug trafficking groups in the Amazon, a neglected but hugely strategic area for organized crime, not only in Bolivia, but also Peru, Brazil and Colombia. 

At a press conference on October 14, the head of Bolivia's Anti-Drug Trafficking Task Force (FELCN), Mario Centellas, revealed that security forces have intensified interdiction efforts in the Amazon region, destroying laboratories and seizing airplanes used to transport drugs, reported El Diario. He told reporters that the region's topography and lack of accessibility have facilitated drug trafficking and production.  

As an example, Centellas cited a FELCN operation on October 12 that resulted in the seizure of a drug plane and 102 kilos of cocaine in the department of Beni, which is part of Bolivia's Amazon basin. Four individuals were arrested during the operation, including one Brazilian, one Peruvian, and one Paraguayan.

The cocaine seized in the operation had been imported from Peru and was apparently due to be transported to Paraguay, Brazil, and Europe, reported La Prensa.

InSight Crime Analysis

FELCN's increased focus on the Amazon echoes similar security measures in other countries that have seen a growing organized crime threat in the Amazon region. In September, Peru declared a state of emergency in two Amazon districts to combat the rising level of drug trafficking in the jungle region. Later that month, the presidents of Colombia and Peru signed an agreement to strengthen security efforts in the Amazon to fight drug trafficking and illegal mining along their shared frontier. Brazil has also previously deployed large numbers of troops to the Amazon in order to crack down on criminal activity.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Bolivia

The recent seizure in Beni highlights Bolivia's role as a drug transit hub in South America's emerging drug trafficking dynamic. As reported in InSight Crime's special series on Bolivian drug trafficking, increased security efforts in Colombia have pushed criminal organizations to migrate their operations to Bolivia, which lacks radars and other resources needed for interdiction. Field research conducted by InSight Crime revealed that large quantities of coca base are transported from Peru to Bolivia, where the substance is processed in cocaine laboratories run by Colombian drug trafficking groups before being shipped to Brazil -- home to the world's second largest consumer drug market

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.

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 / 1 JAN 2015

Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world in terms of homicides and 2015 is unlikely to see…

BOLIVIA / 29 FEB 2016

Bolivian authorities have arrested Evo Morales' former mistress on corruption charges, in a politically charged case that has already…

COLOMBIA / 16 NOV 2015

The following passage explores how the process of fragmentation has changed Latin America's organized crime landscape, and what the implications…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.