HomeNewsBriefBolivia to Install Anti-Narcotics Base in Drug Trafficking Heartland
BRIEF

Bolivia to Install Anti-Narcotics Base in Drug Trafficking Heartland

BOLIVIA / 4 OCT 2012 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Bolivia announced it will install a permanent base in the eastern department of Santa Cruz to counter drug trafficking in the area, underscoring the region's importance to drug producers and foreign traffickers operating in the country.

Bolivian Interior Minister Carlos Romero announced on October 3 that the base will be located in Yapacani, Santa Cruz, and will work to combat drug trafficking in the area, reported El Diario. The base will house agents from the country's anti-narcotics police unit (FELCN) and the Mobile Rural Patrol Unit (UMOPAR).

Romero added that Yapacani, along with the towns of San German and Nuevo Horizonte, had been designated a drug trafficking "red zone" by the government due to the high level of smuggling activity there, reported Opinion.com.  

Within the past week alone, Bolivian authorities have uncovered 174 coca maceration pits and 350 kilos of cocaine in San German and Nuevo Horizonte. In Yapacani, anti-narcotics forces clashed with an armed drug trafficking group, killing one person and detaining 16 others, according to El Diario.

InSight Crime Analysis

Santa Cruz has become a drug-trafficking hotspot in recent years thanks largely to geography; it lies between Bolivia’s coca-producing Cochabamba department and Brazil, Latin America’s largest market for cocaine. Colombian intelligence estimated last year that up to 3,000 Colombian traffickers may operate in the region and there is evidence that Brazilian gangs the Red Command (Comando Vermelho) and the First Capital Command (PCC) run networks from Santa Cruz into Brazil. In one operation earlier this year, 90 cocaine laboratories were dismantled in San German.

Santa Cruz's Attorney General's Office was asked by the government in August to investigate links between local officials and narcotics traffickers. Among those accused were FELCN agents, a former air force colonel and officers from the Santa Cruz police force.

The US criticized Bolivia last month for not doing enough to counter drug operations within its territory, something the government rejected. This latest move reveals its apparent desire to effectively tackle trafficking in one of the country's worst hit areas.

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 / 12 APR 2016

Security officials in Bolivia have created a database of where the country's gangs operate as part of a broader push…

BOLIVIA / 23 APR 2014

Bolivia has become the latest Latin American country to approve a law allowing planes suspected of carrying drugs to be…

BOLIVIA / 11 AUG 2011

Bolivia will boost the number of anti-drug prosecutors in the country from 43 to 60, including 11 new posts that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…