HomeNewsBriefBolivia Hails Self-Policing Coca Project as a Success
BRIEF

Bolivia Hails Self-Policing Coca Project as a Success

BOLIVIA / 26 FEB 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Bolivian officials said that a five-year project funded by the European Union helped reduce coca cultivation by 12 percent in certain areas, and that it provides a successful model for the rest of the country.

As newspaper La Razon reported, the program, known by its acronym PACS (Program to Support Social Control of Coca Leaf Production), officially ended on February 21, although both the program head and the vice minister who oversees the legal coca economy said that it would likely carry on under a different name. 

The program focused on encouraging communities in coca-growing regions to police themselves and ensure that they did not surpass certain limits for coca cultivations. Bolivia currently allows over 20,000 hectares in legal coca plantings across the country. As shown in a New York Times profile last year, this system of allowing growers to enforce limits themselves has had some significant successes in Bolivia. Both the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy found that the area of land planted with coca in Bolivia decreased by 12 to 13 percent between 2010 and 2011.

Vice Minister of Coca and Integral Development Dionisio Nuñez praised the outcome of the PACS project, describing it as an example of the state reducing coca production without violence, and added that the model could be imitiated in other coca-producing countries like Colombia and Peru.

InSight Crime Analysis

While efforts like the PACS are commendable, Bolivia still faces significant challenges in terms of balancing its legal and illegal coca markets. According to the White House's findings, even though coca plantings have dropped in Bolivia, the overall amount of cocaine that could be potentially produced in the country has increased significantly (these numbers have faced some criticism). Critics say that much of the country's legal coca production still ends up in the hands of drug trafficking organizations, particularly Brazilian groups.

Asides from bolstering its anti-narcotics efforts with military aid from Brazil, President Evo Morales' government will likely continue to pursuing alternative approaches to regulating coca growing. As well as initiatives like the PACS, this includes looking for new, legal uses of Bolivia's surplus coca crop.

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 / 20 DEC 2012

Bolivia's anti-narcotics agency announced it has seized ten planes and destroyed 10 clandestine landing strips so far this year, indication…

BOLIVIA / 14 JUL 2016

Bolivia and Uruguay are set to implement new legal frameworks for combatting drug trafficking, reflecting a regional pattern of governments…

BOLIVIA / 4 APR 2014

In 2013, the number of human trafficking cases reported in Bolivia was more than 10 times higher than nine years…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…