HomeNewsBriefEU Pledges $33 Million in Anti-Drug Aid to Bolivia
BRIEF

EU Pledges $33 Million in Anti-Drug Aid to Bolivia

BOLIVIA / 20 AUG 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

The European Union plans to give around $33.4 million to Bolivia in anti-drug and alternative development assistance, a pledge that likely reflects the strategic importance of Bolivia to drug trafficking in Europe.

European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said the money would be used to incentivize the production of alternative crops to coca as part of a wider anti-drug effort, reported Europa Press. Piebalgs expects the funds to directly benefit some 80,000 farming families and to indirectly benefit another 400,000 people.

Piebalgs travelled to Bolivia on August 19 with the objective of strengthening anti-drug cooperation with the Bolivian government. While there, the commissioner plans to visit the country’s two principal coca-growing regions, Cochabamba and Los Yungas de La Paz, reported Prensa Latina.

InSight Crime Analysis

Between 2007 and 2013, the EU budgeted around $313 million in aid to Bolivia, with around one third of the money dedicated specifically to anti-drug efforts. Among EU-funded efforts hailed as a success by the Bolivian government was a self-policing program that encouraged coca growers to monitor their own crops to stay within legal limits.

The EU has a vested interest in Bolivian anti-narcotics efforts. Unlike Colombian cocaine, which mostly ends up on the US market, the majority of Bolivian cocaine is trafficked to Brazil and Argentina, and what is not sold on those countries’ domestic markets is sent to Europe.

The EU support contrasts with the attitude of the US, which has frequently clashed with Bolivian officials over drug policy and recently announced it would close its anti-drug office. Nonetheless, it is questionable whether the EU really can fill the gap left by the US as the support offered is mostly focussed on “soft” power, which, while a critical part of tackling the drug trade, leaves the issue of Bolivia’s ill-equipped security forces unaddressed. The country that has had the most success in tackling large scale organized crime groups — Colombia — has relied heavily on US support in equipping and training its security forces.

One possibile regional partner in this area is Brazil, the biggest cocaine market in Latin America and a regional economic power. The two countries have already united drug efforts in the past, although cooperation on anti-narcotics operations has at times been strained.

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.

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 / 25 APR 2014

Bolivia police have discovered cocaine chemically modified to be odorless and pliable in a shipment of musical instruments heading to…

BOLIVIA / 1 OCT 2012

Bolivian police believe foreign drug trafficking organizations operating in the country are working with local crime families to…

BOLIVIA / 29 MAR 2013

An drug trafficking ring that transported Bolivian cocaine to Spain has been dismantled, revealing a direct international export routes…

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…