cleared 5000ha of coca plantations from Bolivian soil this year
and announced he was kicking out the DEA
Bolivia's Special Force to Fight Cocaine (FELCN) is the body in charge of fighting drug trafficking. Here's a list of its cocaine seizure tonnages for the first 10 months of the years 2005 to 2008:
2006: 14.0 metric tonnes (MT) of cocaine/coca paste seized by FELCN
2007: 14.8 metric tonnes (MT) of cocaine/coca paste seized by FELCN
2008: 25.5 metric tonnes (MT) of cocaine/coca paste seized by FELCN
Next productive acreage:
2004: 27,700 hectares
2005: 25,400 hectares
2006: 27,500 hectares
2007: 25,000 hectares
2008: 22,000 hectares
This means that, roughly, Bolivia is producing around 100MT of cocaine and 25.5MT of it gets seized, which compares, for example, with Peru's potential production of 300MT, its probable production of 196MT (according to the UN) and its 25MT of cocaine seizures this year. Don't even get me started on the world's number one player Colombia, responsible for over 60% of the world's cocaine (maybe 750 to 800MT right now, of which only a tiny fraction gets seized).
Ready for the big finale? Evo Morales became President of Bolivia on January 22nd 2006. Yep, that's right; since Doctor Morales assumed the presidency cocaine production acreage has dropped by 20% and cocaine seizures have more than doubled. We do hear from the UN that absolute cocaine production rose 5% in Bolivia last year, even though hectares under cultivation dropped. This because the narcos are using more intensive farming techniques and hybrids that produce more alkaloids. However in the same period Colombia's cocaine production rose by no less than 27%! And remember, this is the country that the USA has donated U$6.7Bn to for its "Plan Colombia" war on drugs this decade (Colombia now has 50% more area under cultivation since 2000). But back to Bolivia, and if cocaine production goes up about 5MT in a year and cocaine seizures go up by 10.7MT in the same period, doesn't that mean Evo Morales is winning the war on drugs in his little patch?
No wonder Evo is kicking out the DEA; wherever they go drug production increases, and wherever they leave it goes down. For another example, check out the enormous drop in heroin production in the far eastern golden triangle in the brief period when the Taliban had control, and look at the production figures since the DEA got back into town.
I wonder why...........