HomeNewsBriefBolivia Uses G77 Post to Put Coca Legalization on International Agenda
BRIEF

Bolivia Uses G77 Post to Put Coca Legalization on International Agenda

BOLIVIA / 9 JAN 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

As Bolivia assumed the presidency of the United Nations Group of 77 (G-77), President Evo Morales used this opportunity to push his pro-coca agenda, likely hoping to capitalize on the international attention surrounding moves towards drug reform elsewhere in the region.

On January 8, Morales marked the beginning of Bolivia's one year term chairing the United Nations (UN) coalition of developing nations with a speech promoting the use of coca leaf and calling for its removal from the UN list of banned drugs.

Morales also highlighted Bolivia's success in obtaining recognition of the legitimate use of coca leaf within the country from the UN after it rejoined the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it had left in protest over coca's banned status.

In a press conference following the speech, Morales also spoke about the country's successes following the "nationalization" of Bolivia's counter-narcotics efforts, referring to the severing of ties with US anti-drug bodies.

InSight Crime Analysis

While Morales' speech was in large part an affirmation of a longstanding agenda, it was also a statement of intent, showing he plans to use Bolivia's position at the head of the G77 to reignite debate over coca use.

Morales is no doubt aware that this is an ideal moment to do so. The eyes of the world are currently turned to the marijuana legalization reforms underway in Uruguay and in Colorado and Washington in the United States, which have placed the issue of drug policy firmly on the international agenda.

SEE ALSO: Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

While Bolivia has already obtained international consent to the use of coca leaf within its territory, if it is to create a sustainable "coca-yes, cocaine-no" policy then it will also need coca use to be recognized as legitimate internationally. Currently, Bolivia produces an estimated 25,000 hectares of coca a year, while, according to a recent study, its legal market can be supplied by closer to 14,000 hectares. Until now, attempts by Morales to bolster the domestic market for legal coca-derived products have been largely unsuccessful.

If Bolivia is to stop coca being diverted into cocaine production without devastating the livelihoods of coca farmers -- an important political base for Morales -- then access to international markets for legal coca products will be essential.

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 / 25 JUL 2022

Venezuelan gang, Tren de Aragua, has gradually become one of South America's main criminal threats, with Chile its latest target.

CHILE / 16 SEP 2022

Chile has recently seized several new psychoactive substances (NPS), highlighting the growing diversity of its drug markets.

BOLIVIA / 26 JAN 2022

Authorities in Bolivia have arrested the Andean nation’s former anti-drug chief as he tried to flee the country, but how…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…