HomeNewsBriefNew EU Funds for Bolivia Help Fill Anti-Narcotics Vacuum Left by US
BRIEF

New EU Funds for Bolivia Help Fill Anti-Narcotics Vacuum Left by US

BOLIVIA / 11 JUN 2015 BY SAM TABORY EN

The EU has announced $67 million in new anti-drug funding for Bolivia, as the government continues to look to fill the funding gap left by the breakdown of relations with the United States in one of the region's critical drug trafficking and production hubs.

Representatives of the European Union (EU) signed an agreement with Bolivian President Evo Morales on June 10 that pledged over $100 million in development assistance, two thirds of which will go to anti-drug programs. The measures outlined in the agreement will include technical assistance from European police departments and funds dedicated to reducing illegal coca cultivation. 

This funding is the latest in a series of such packages that have made Bolivia the largest recipient of EU assistance in the Americas, and follow on from $33 million pledged in 2013, and $313 million delivered between 2007 and 2013 -- around a third of which was dedicated to anti-drugs efforts.

Aid from Europe has come in the wake of diminishing US influence in Bolivia. Morales expelled the US Drug Enforcement Administration from Bolivia in 2008 and then in 2013 expelled the US Agency for International Development (USAID) shortly before the last US anti-narcotics office in Bolivia, operated by the US Treasury, was shuttered.

According to aggregate foreign assistance figures for all US government agencies, the US spent just $1.02 million on counter narcotics funding in Bolivia in 2013 down from an annual high of $17.5 million in 2010. According to official figures, no US funds were spent on anti-narcotics efforts in 2014. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

Bolivia has recorded mixed results in combating the drug trade since it began to sever ties to the United States. The government's engagement with rather than criminalization of coca growers has seen coca cultivation fall, while eradication has risen. However, the lack of outside funding and technical assistance has allowed the trafficking side of the business to flourish as the state has lacked the resources to carry out interdiction operations and dismantle organized crime structures. 

SEE ALSO: Evo's Challenge: Bolivia the Drugs Hub

The substantial aid Bolivia is now receiving from the EU will help fill the funding vacuum left by the United States. However, to truly tackle drug trafficking and organized crime in the country, it will have to be directed not only towards the issue of coca cultivation, but also towards other areas such as boosting intelligence gathering capabilities and access to technology, and fighting corruption within the security forces.

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 / 7 MAR 2022

Paraguay has launched the biggest operation against cocaine trafficking and money laundering in its history, unleashing a scandal that has…

BOLIVIA / 3 FEB 2017

The UNODC has promised to expand cooperation with the government of Bolivia on combating organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption,…

BOLIVIA / 12 JUL 2013

Venezuela, El Salvador, and Bolivia have come out at the bottom in an NGO's ranking of criminal justice systems…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…