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Source Countries and
Drug Transit Zones: Bolivia

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The administration of Bolivian president Evo Morales continues to pursue policies that would increase legal coca cultivation from 12,000 to 20,000 hectares—a change that would violate current Bolivian law and the 1998 UN Drug Convention. Source

Bolivia is currently the world's third largest producer of cocaine, primarily supplying Europe and other markets in South America. According to the United Nations, coca cultivation in Bolivia increased from 23,600 hectares in 2003 to 27,500 hectares in 2006, and over the same period Bolivia's estimated potential cocaine production increased from 100 metric tons to 115 metric tons.

During 2007, the Government of Bolivia managed to eradicate more than 6,000 hectares of coca, surpassing its eradication goal of 5,000 hectares. Bolivian counternarcotics units were active in interdiction and lab seizures; however. President Evo Morales continues to pursue his policy of "zero cocaine but not zero coca," seeking to industrialize the coca crop and increase legal coca cultivation from 12,000 to 20,000 hectares. These policies are in violation of existing Bolivian law and the 1998 UN Drug Convention, and they threaten to counteract the progress Bolivia has made in eradication and interdiction. The Government of Bolivia and the European Union have agreed to conduct a study to determine the actual licit demand for coca in Bolivia, with results expected in 2009.

The United States continues to seek ways to cooperate with the Bolivian Government in areas such as arresting drug traffickers, disrupting cocaine production, seizing illicit drugs and precursors, supporting alternative development, reducing demand, and training law enforcement and judicial officials. In 2007, U.S. assistance contributed directly to 11,475 new hectares of alternative crops in the Chapare and Yungas, helping to expand sustainable legitimate employment and income opportunities.

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