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

DRUG POLICY / 16 MAR 2020

Paraguay issued its first-ever medical cannabis licenses this February, marking a major shift for the marijuana-producing country while…

BOLIVIA / 31 MAR 2022

A major antinarcotics operation at an aerodrome in Bolivia has drawn attention to the role of private air facilities in…

BOLIVIA / 19 MAR 2014

In October 2013, Mary Anastasia O'Grady wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Bolivia under President Evo Morales is turning…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…