HomeNewsBriefBolivia, UNODC Agree on $22 Million Program for Tackling Organized Crime
BRIEF

Bolivia, UNODC Agree on $22 Million Program for Tackling Organized Crime

BOLIVIA / 3 FEB 2017 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

The UNODC has promised to expand cooperation with the government of Bolivia on combating organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption, a sign of the international community's continued support for the Andean nation.*

The Bolivian government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed an agreement on February 2 to cooperate on a $22 million project that aims to "to strengthen Bolivia's capacity to prevent crime and respond to the interconnected threats related to drugs, organized crime and corruption," the foreign ministry stated.

The funds will be used for the 2016-2020 "Country Program" (pdf) between the UNODC and the Bolivian government. Bolivia will pay $1.75 million out of the total $22 million aid package, while the rest will be financed by the European Union and its member states. The partners have already obtained $9.5 million in financing, equivalent to 43 percent of the total.

The program has five pillars: coca cultivation and integral development ($6.2 million); public health and drug legislation ($4.7 million); prevention and fight against organized crime ($5.9 million); prevention and fight against corruption ($2.6 million); and reform of the criminal justice system ($2.7 million).

InSight Crime Analysis

UNODC efforts to help Bolivia tackle drug trafficking and organized crime have to be considered in light of the country's falling out with the United States on antinarcotics policies. This dynamic has led the financial aid from the international community, and in particular the European Union, to gain increased significance.

The EU has long provided anti-drug aid to the Andean nation, whether through direct cooperation or by funding UNODC programs. The EU signed a contract with Bolivian government last November to help local institutions combat drug trafficking and related criminal activities.

But the EU's continued financial support has gained importance since the diplomatic fallout between Bolivia and the United States. In 2008, President Evo Morales expelled the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as well as the US ambassador, before taking a similar step with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2013. Over time, these events led to an almost total elimination of US anti-narcotics aid to Bolivia. 

SEE ALSO: Bolivia News and Profile

The Bolivian government has taken a markedly different approach to reducing coca cultivation than Peru and Colombia, which continue to receive US funding. The government's emphasis on self-policing and farmers' rights appears to be working; in 2015, the number of coca crops fell to their lowest point since the UNODC began monitoring in 2003. 

That is not to say Bolivia has solved all of its problems related to organized crime and corruption. The government is still attempting to deal with significant drug trafficking activities on its territory, while corruption plagues state institutions and the Bolivian prison system is among the most overcrowded in all of Latin America, with an occupancy rate of 254 percent.

* The original version of this article inaccurately implied that the UNODC would provide $22 million in funding directly to the Bolivian government. This article has been updated to clarify that the program will be implemented in partnership with the Bolivian government.

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 / 29 APR 2022

A string of drug seizures in Chile, coupled with cocaine discovered on ships originating there, points to the country emerging…

COCA / 1 SEP 2021

Emerging from almost six decades of civil conflict, the world’s number one cocaine producer has paid scant attention to environmental…

ARGENTINA / 7 MAR 2022

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

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…