HomeNewsBriefBolivia Turns to Venezuela for Anti-Drug Aid
BRIEF

Bolivia Turns to Venezuela for Anti-Drug Aid

BOLIVIA / 27 MAY 2013 BY MICHAEL TATONE AND JAMES BARGENT EN

Bolivia has turned to Venezuela as it continues its search for partners to replace the United States in providing anti-drug aid, in what may prove an unwise choice given that corruption is rife in the Venezuelan security forces.

The Bolivian government's first request of its political ally was for helicopters, which will be used to strengthen Bolivia's anti-drug forces by allowing the rapid deployment of troops. According to the country's top anti-drug official Felipe Caceres, aerial support is key for the manual eradication of illegal coca crops, which are often in remote locations with no road access, reported the Prensa Latina.

InSight Crime Analysis

The plea for support comes shortly after the US announced the closure of its anti-drug office in Bolivia, bringing a tempestuous era of anti-narcotics cooperation to a close. The US-Bolivia relationship was highly strained since President Evo Morales threw out the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008 after accusing the agency of spying.

It is unsurprising that Morales has turned away from US anti-narcotics assistance due to the political tensions between the two countries. However, while Morales may now be free of any political strings attached to that aid, Bolivia will struggle to find a partner that will provide the same levels of funds, technology, and expertise.

In recent times, Morales has turned to Brazil, Russia, and even Iran in his search for partners in anti-narcotics operations. However, the decision to increase cooperation with Venezuela is a worrying sign.

Venezuela has taken on an increasingly important role in drug trafficking over the last decade. This is partly due to the presence of Colombian narco-paramilitary groups such as the Rastrojos, and guerrilla groups the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

However, the biggest contributing factor has been institutional corruption. From the low-level members of the military that wave through drug shipments along the border, to the Cartel de los Soles (Cartel of the Suns) -- a drug trafficking network made up of high-ranking military officials -- the Venezuelan security forces are far from ideal partners in tackling drug trafficking.

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

COLOMBIA / 13 APR 2020

This section will discuss the main roles that women play in drug trafficking, human trafficking and migrant smuggling with a…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 10 NOV 2020

Fisherman are denouncing increased piracy around Lake Valencia in northern Venezuela, which is weakening one of the last productive industries…

CARIBBEAN / 8 SEP 2017

Based on erroneous and false information, the Jamaican government has launched a new initiative to corral criminal groups in what…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…