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.

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 / 15 MAR 2018

Authorities in Bolivia seized large quantities of drugs and weapons and several inmates were killed during a police raid…

BOLIVIA / 19 JUL 2012

Foreign Policy's latest Failed States Index presents a flawed picture of regional stability in Latin America, largely due to an…

BOLIVIA / 26 NOV 2013

Bolivia’s interior minister has admitted the country has “technological weaknesses” that make it difficult to properly track incoming drug flights,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.