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

ARGENTINA / 8 FEB 2023

InSight Crime's 2022 Homicide Round-Up covers more countries than ever before, with a major expansion into nations of the Caribbean.

BOLIVIA / 29 APR 2022

A string of drug seizures in Chile, coupled with cocaine discovered on ships originating there, points to the country emerging…

BOLIVIA / 8 NOV 2022

Environmental crime is driving deforestation across the Amazon, where some parts are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they absorb.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Contributes Expertise Across the Board 

22 SEP 2023

This week InSight Crime investigators Sara García and María Fernanda Ramírez led a discussion of the challenges posed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s “Total Peace” plan within urban contexts. The…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Cited in New Colombia Drug Policy Plan

15 SEP 2023

InSight Crime’s work on emerging coca cultivation in Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela was cited in the Colombian government’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Discusses Honduran Women's Prison Investigation

8 SEP 2023

Investigators Victoria Dittmar and María Fernanda Ramírez discussed InSight Crime’s recent investigation of a massacre in Honduras’ only women’s prison in a Twitter Spaces event on…

THE ORGANIZATION

Human Trafficking Investigation Published in Leading Mexican Newspaper

1 SEP 2023

Leading Mexican media outlet El Universal featured our most recent investigation, “The Geography of Human Trafficking on the US-Mexico Border,” on the front page of its August 30…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime's Coverage of Ecuador Leads International Debate

25 AUG 2023

This week, Jeremy McDermott, co-director of InSight Crime, was interviewed by La Sexta, a Spanish television channel, about the situation of extreme violence and insecurity in Ecuador…