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Bolivian Government Identifies Source of 'Illegal' Coca

BOLIVIA / 12 NOV 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

The Bolivian government announced on Monday that it has located the six regions in which most of the country’s legally-produced coca is diverted to the illegal drug trade, all of which are located in the central departments of La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santacruz and Tarija.

According to the business journal AméricaEconomía, Bolivian officials say that between 35 percent and 40 percent of the coca produced in the country is used for "the illegal trade,” while 65 percent is used for traditional consumption. Luis Cutipa, director of the Bolivian agency for coca regulation, blamed the illegal production on a lack of resources. “There are more than 11,000 coca producers nationwide,” the official reported, adding that this number was impossible to regulate with the number of government workers in his office. The announcement comes after the Morales administration expelled the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) from the country in 2008, cutting the South American nation off from significant amounts of anti-narcotics aid.

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