HomeNewsBriefVenezuela, Bolivia Reject US Criticism of Anti-Drug Efforts
BRIEF

Venezuela, Bolivia Reject US Criticism of Anti-Drug Efforts

BOLIVIA / 17 SEP 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

While Venezuela and Bolivia dismissed recent criticism from the United States of their anti-drug efforts as political attacks, their close ally Nicaragua has made a name for itself cooperating with US counter-narcotics strategy in the region.

On September 14, the office of US President Barack Obama issued a memorandum identifying both Venezuela and Bolivia as “countries that have failed demonstrably during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counternarcotics agreements.”

The governments of both countries have responded harshly to the criticism. Bolivian President Evo Morales told reporters that it meant little coming from a government which “lacks the morality, authority necessary to speak about the war on drugs.” The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry responded by issuing a statement condemning the memo as full of “false statements, political preconceptions and veiled threats," and accused President Obama of furthering “a permanent line of aggression against independent sovereign governments."

InSight Crime Analysis

The United States’ criticism of Venezuela and Bolivia is interesting when contrasted with its close counternarcotics work with Nicaragua which, like the other two, is led by a leftist president who clashes with the US on foreign policy more often than not. While the US recognizes Nicaragua as a major drug transit country, it works extensively with the Nicaraguan military on counternarcotics operations, according to the State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2011.  The report noted that the Nicaraguan government “protected its territory as best it could with limited resources” against drug traffickers. 

And this does not appear to be empty praise. Nicaragua military statistics indicate that from January 2011 to August 2012, officials conducted 182,526 counternarcotics operations and seized 6.7 tons of cocaine, 93 vehicles and 41 boats, as well as arresting 1,288 people.

Ultimately this casts doubt on claims that the US is pursuing a political agenda in singling out Bolivia or Venezuela. Indeed, as InSight Crime has pointed out in the past, both countries appear to face worrisome deteriorations in their security environment, with drug cartels deepening their activities in Bolivia, amid evidence of high level collusion with drug trafficking in the Venezuelan military.

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

EL KOKI / 22 FEB 2021

Recent shootouts between security forces and Venezuela's El Coqui gang included a clash in which at least two dozen people…

BOLIVIA / 8 NOV 2022

Environmental crime is driving deforestation across the Amazon, where some parts are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they absorb.

BOLIVIA / 28 MAY 2021

Bolivia's controversial former interior minister and his chief of staff have both been arrested in the United States on charges…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…