HomeNewsBriefMorales Pledges to Eradicate 10,000Ha of Coca by Year’s End
BRIEF

Morales Pledges to Eradicate 10,000Ha of Coca by Year’s End

BOLIVIA / 3 NOV 2011 BY WILLIAM W. CUMMINGS EN

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced that his government will eradicate 10,000 hectares of coca before the calendar year is up, although his claims that this would represent a new record are belied by United Nations data.

According to Prensa Latina and Tarija’s El Pais, Morales, “announced that the Plurinational State will break in 2011 all records for the elimination of surplus coca leaf.” Perhaps the distinction lies in the definition of “surplus coca,” but, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2011 World Drug Report, Bolivia has eradicated more than 10,000 hectares of coca four times since 1996, including a high of 15,353 hectares in 1999.

Morales, who said more than 8,000 hectares of coca have already been eradicated this year, stressed that an agreement with the producers made the eradication possible. It is taking place, “without a single shot being fired that resulted in death or injury, unlike what occurred during the neo-liberal governments,” he said.

Morales is a former coca grower, and current head of the coca-growers’ union. His political career largely began as a leader of the "cocalero" fight against the U.S.-backed coca eradication programs. He expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg in 2008 and suspended Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) activity in Bolivia in 2008. He has insisted that his country can continue to produce coca for traditional uses while fighting the production and distribution of processed cocaine.

“You can not talk about free coca cultivation, nor zero coca for tradition and culture.” Morales said Monday.

Morales said the eradication was an important act in the fight against narcotraffickers. “This contribution and this conscious, voluntary reduction has a great impact on the international community,” Morales said.

The eradication of 10,000 hectares of coca would be a new record for the Morales administration, if not for Bolivian history, and would be double the amount eradicated during his first year in office. Since Morales took office, coca cultivation has increased roughly 12 percent, from 27,500 hectares in 2006 to 30,900 in 2010.

This article originally appeared on William W. Cummings' blog. See original post here.

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.

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 JUL 2022

Venezuelan gang, Tren de Aragua, has gradually become one of South America's main criminal threats, with Chile its latest target.

DRUG POLICY / 2 NOV 2020

Facing increased economic hardship, poppy-growing communities in southwest Mexico want to join a state program offering alternative projects, but this…

BOLIVIA / 5 FEB 2021

The seizure of a cocaine-laced package, bound for Thailand, at an airport in Bolivia, shines light on the little-known drug…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…