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.

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

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 15 DEC 2011

A UN representative said there are no Mexican cartels present in Bolivia, raising the question of which criminal groups…

ARGENTINA / 23 JUL 2015

An investigation conducted by a non-governmental organization into perceptions of drug activity in Latin America reflects changing patterns in trafficking…

BOLIVIA / 25 NOV 2014

Bolivia reportedly has no way of detecting liquid cocaine, an increasingly important form of drug smuggling in the Andean nation,…

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…