Sunday, June 21, 2009

What they forgot to tell you about Bolivia's Drug War

Move over Colombia, there is a new Scarface in town! According to the western press Bolivia is fast becoming "the top global producer of [cocaine]" according to a new UN study. All because Colombia managed to decrease coca cultivation last year while Bolivia and Peru are still increasing!

Except, they forgot to put in the sensationalist headlines that Bolivia produces one quarter (113 metric tons) of the coca crop Colombia does (430 tons), and one third of Peru's (302 tons). And that the UN actually praised Bolivia's drug enforcement agency (FELCN) for increasing seizures of cocaine and cocaine paste (that's actual refined product not simply potential cultivation) by 148% from 2007. And FELCN has done all this without the "help" of the US DEA, which according to former agents actually traffics cociane for the needy US consumer.

And just in case you think Colombia is finally turning itself around with this good news, according to Colombia analyst Adam Isacson coca cultivation will soon be back up as "Peasants who lost their savings in collapsed pyramid schemes in October began replanting coca on a huge scale." Yeah, capitalism!

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