According to data from the United Nations, Bolivia achieved a reduction in the amount of coca fields — the plant which is used as a raw material for the elaboration of cocaine — approximately in an 11% since the year 2014, and in over a 30% since 2010, which amounts to four consecutive years of decline, from over 30 thousand to some 20 thousand hectares.
The data, presented in the form of satellite images and imaging studies, were published last week in a report which was jointly presented by Antonio De Leo, representative of the UN Office Against Drug and Crime, and the Bolivian president, Evo Morales.
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De Leo congratulated the Bolivian government over the good news, indicated that the area for the growing of coca is the lowest in twelve years, and asserted the participation of social movements, coca unions and different local authorities in the process.
During his speech, Morales stressed that the progress against drug trafficking was possible after the 2008 expulsion of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — accused of conspiracy and espionage — together with a significant national effort.
The head of state also celebrated that drug trafficking no longer has a significant weight in the economy of the Andean country, now corresponding to less than 1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Bolivia is the third world producer of coca, after Peru and Colombia, and approximately a 40% of the production ends up in the illegal market. The rest is consumed traditionally, chewed or in tea, as a natural analgesic.