HomeNewsBriefColombians Arrested in Bolivia Cocaine Lab Bust
BRIEF

Colombians Arrested in Bolivia Cocaine Lab Bust

BOLIVIA / 11 APR 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Bolivian authorities have discovered a massive half-built cocaine laboratory and arrested 10 Colombians in the country’s eastern Santa Cruz department, highlighting the area’s importance to the international drug trade.

The laboratory was discovered during an operation carried out by Bolivia’s anti-narcotics police unit (FELCN) in a rural area near the city of Santa Cruz. One Bolivian and 10 Colombians believed to be assisting in the construction process were found on the premises and arrested, reported La Razon.

According to FELCN Departmental Director Paul Saavedra, the laboratory was in the last phases of construction and would have been ready to begin operations the following week, with the capacity to produce up to 800 kilos of cocaine per week. Some $500,000 was reportedly spent on building the lab. 

Saavedra noted that the laboratory had “Colombian characteristics” and that at least seven such laboratories have already been discovered by authorities this year. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Santa Cruz — which connects the coca-producing Cochabamba department to Brazil and Paraguay — has become a regional hub for drug traffickers, with Brazil’s First Capital Command (PCC) prison gang and Colombian organizations both present here. FELCN authorites discovered 91 cocaine laboratories in the department in May 2012, one indication of the sheer amount of cocaine processing taking place in the region. 

As a result of the spread of organized crime groups in Santa Cruz, in October 2012 Bolivia’s government decided to install a permanent military base in the department to combat drug trafficking.

Compartir icon icon icon

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 / 28 FEB 2013

Police have arrested the alleged leader of criminal group the Rastrojos in Colombia's coffee region, in another blow to the…

COLOMBIA / 21 AUG 2013

Ecuador has captured one of the principal leaders of the Rastrojos, in another blow to the fragmented remnants of what…

COCAINE / 9 APR 2020

In the investigation, "The Invisible Drug Lord: Hunting ‘The Ghost,’" InSight Crime reported that Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…