BEYOND OPERATION BLAST FURNACE: BOLIVIA'S STRUGGLE AGAINST NARCO

Created: 2/1/1988

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Beyond Operation Blasttruggle Against

Beyond Operation Blasf FuffAce^ Bolivia's Struggle Against Narcotics fljBflKf

Beyond Operation Blast Furnace: Bolivia's Struggle Against Narcoiicsf)

Judgments

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ource of intermediate coca products for Colombian trafficking organizations, Bolivia has emergedajor supplier of cocaine to the international market. The expanding cocaine trade hasew generation of powerful trafficking organizations that are threatening'sWu^KsubUjiy tQd fueling narcotics activity in other South American

'resident Paz Esienssoro's government hasetailed three-year plan to expand interdiction and coca eradication efforts andilateral narcotics agreement with the United States guaranteeing financing, training, and equipment The strategy depends on susuined interdiction toocj^ofessing. thereby reducing both tbe demand for coca leaf and the price peasants can obtain for their product. With other cash crops competitive with coca, the stage would be set for eradication and crop substitution programs La Pal intends to improve the plan's legal foundationew omnibus drug law that consolidates previous narcotics decrees, increases punishment for drug cr rr.es. andlegal coca growing ar-as (MB*

Bolivia's countemarcotics program is likely to move slowly in the near term.

long as coca larmers earn high profits, the crop control effort is unlikely to keep up with expanding cultivation.

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Contents

Page

Key Judgments

Ofug Trade in Perspective: Gaining Wealth and Influence

ihe Cocaine Trade:trategy 5,

Drug Law

Role of the Unuec

Drugifficult Task

Support at the Top

the Program

for Imerdiction: An Uphill Baltic

and Training; The L'S Ccrt.-ibuticn

Opposition Crows Stronger

Reduction: Success More Remote

(or the Near Term

Long-Term Outlook

for Countering the Expansion

Be>ond Operation Blast Furnace: Bolivia's Struggle Against Narcotics tasafk

Cocaon in Bolivia,ihe domain otfarmers Surp":ng the domestic c'"ie*tr.jhaj teen transformed over iheeanulnbiilion dol'sr buiir.eis thai suppliesr-

ma.'kc:2s asupplier cf coca pane to Colombian cocainendiesue.-itl; has emergedajcr coca.ne rerinicg and caperts own right

cultivation, making Bolivia tne second-largest coca growerouth America behind Peru Mos: cf the crap supplies illie:t

equivalenthe entire estimated annual demandLnitec States. The illicit cocaine industryestablished throughout Bolivia andorcontinue to grow inw-akh.

racing L'S pressuremplementontrol measures, in6 President Paz Estens-soro asked for L'S military assistance to crack down or ihe illicn cocaine industryVj*HffHjB> aeration Blast Furnace stirred enoughsentiment in Bolivia to permit La Paz iconger ierm drug control strategy addressing L'Sor antidrug progress Wkwrnrnt*

o.-Ks areVerticatly rnie"gr3tca.*omrbUing allfrom buying coca-TUppIiesistribution of cocaine in the'L'iuied

Reporting

picture of extensive networks of drug brokers, pilots, guards, iawyers. accountants, and money launde.-ers directedOre of manage

While Bolivia's formal economy was contracting over the past five years, the cocainend it has become thetrongestand the source of income for thousands offarmers and unemployed workers. Proceeds from illicit cocaine saiei totaledillion'flfe million entered tbe country es wages, luxury goods, imports, and investments in real property andbusiness concerns; the rest is secreted in foreign banks or is used to cover the overseas costs of the traffickers' operations. Nevertheless, even thisof drug profits exceeded the total value of legitimate exports

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Ci'cocaine refineries ratccd during Operationrnace surprised police officials. The murdersrorn.nen; Bolivian who innocently wander tceongressional deputythe case highlighted the growing narcotics threat, undt.-cy: :rie arguments of opponents who perceived the drug trade as an economic necessity, and gave Pai sb* openmj nrrrJed to respond to L'S pressures arcrehensile three-year narcotics strate-

The imrvrtjnce Jto Botltta'leflected ndcWHjfmi!

bjhc%hai, if Boimu'* corrrr.i'.-tttfn'. In JtiS'Zf.Csrs. gM!lt)indh| Ln::ed jlilitnl 'B guf* u'c

ic stage tor eradication o;

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r.ter :ne CrLgepends on diction operations to depress coca pro* the cemancs leaf,oca crops Farmers nu nncrice ot coca has failer.e cos: ofll p; offeree direct nnsnciai assistance and icctutrop (ubstituiior. programs in exchange for eradicating their coca rices. Cocaproot their r'retc* during the rtrs; year af (hetH be iii* r ;oftraining,ashto ease their. from coca cultivation alternative

rovided jr. jcditic.ta! bw-i:nd to LSThe ia^?

Chapare: Center of lhe Cocau <ht coca boomJem than inon importantndlanS colonization pro/re: in The ro<preiieel itiadve'tenity warred eocaAi providing roadsinker imprqvemenn

^ercent ofhe Chapareirenlv or peripherally involied in the to<owe industry ere iheroduces '! percent of Bolivian eoeo. The rata plantell in the poor Chaparr soil, and Iraf virtu's per hectare are higher then anyhert else in Boliviaesult, coco alioore favorable roir of return than traditional eeneutlueol cops; iligher value per una weight, ti iris labor intensive, end iserishable. Cora production hot eiireriedamilieshearte 'hole licit avneutlure

Cochabamba: The Commeeciel Gateway to lhe Chapare

Cochabamba. located at the southern rdge of the Chapare on tne inly rood into the ret'On. tllusireies how ihe hwcrvninx cocaine industry it disrupting regionaland /reding io increased violence in Bolivian Antieiy. The riiy. which serves asarket end Supply rente for coca g'O'rrs end drug processors, hos witnessed an influx of ColontOiani and people from Santa Cruz all hopint to pertietpeie in the tea neflBBkT^Rl tf^BTKHRt there is no other business or financialulSiUers to move into

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crime Ond 'interne are increasing and drug addiction is on ihe rise. The narcotics industry has became so entrenched andinfluential ihai Cirthabambe't 'epretrniaii>e< in the naiinn't Congress hare hetiteted io support legislation aimed at halttne the rf'u* trade far fear uf Uiunx ihed" then present conMiiuency end provoking the ane.rr .if naecatwsjmu^

On thregitimateochahamhaenprnntlatian andrvieiand teiereli -eokened leglnmaiePresident Ps;'s nc* policies have farced ihem tuunatiuunnird free market

k. trafficker payment' io eamp<<tmit

for srowing eoca and producing paste art so high thai lieu businesses ore unable io retain critically needed skilled unskilled laborers. In addition, thousands of unemployed miners hove migrated totarch of jobs ontfind none. and.esult, hove begun lo stir up

trouble, pulling pressurt On city coffers at the expense Ot

already unemployed factory workers in Cochabamba^

Santa Crut: The Hfib Many traffickers have fheir hornefaXB bust, lers in Somaooming metropolis. whii&Vfeefcnt years hoi overtaken Cochabamba as rhe secondopuloul City in Bolivia. This city also is an anomaly ioeneral economic decline,rosperous community. Santorowth has been fueled by 'he deportment's rich agricultural lands and hydrocarbonwhich produces Oil for domestic consumption and natural gas for export, lis many banks, modemfectlitits. and cosmopolitan nature havt made Somaopular center for traffickers. They launder their money ihntugh Us banks, which have subsidiaries in feno-ma and Miami, ship their drugs and coco prciducts-ihraugh Us internationalmost modern inand use its restaurants, hotels, and nightspots to make deals. The city's many moneychangers and block market provide additional opportunities foe money laundering

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Narcoiici Chronology

July. Opr'OliO" Blest Furnace beganday jomt US-SoIkici counirma'.-ot'CS operation molting fix L'S BlackelloopitrS and ihtir support personnelransport Bolivian police on raids aioinsi remote CotalMs.

rominent naturalist. Noel Kempf. and <wo tompamons 'err murdered Gl the 'emote HuanchaCOrefinery end'a-speciel congressional commute "as essienrd to investigate the ease BIsst Furnace "as extend-rdfor an additionalays.

October. The LS-Bolirien Commission on Narcoticsand Cora Eradication and Developmentroit reportomprehensive three-year antidrug ilraiegy.

eftist congressional deputy and member of the special committee investigating the Huonehoca mur-derj. Edmundo Sola:ar. was murdered by unknownpresumably drug traffickers. Blast Furnace ended and thehelicopters and support troops -ere with' dro-n. Sir L'S-loened fluey helicopters were delivered for exclusive uiedrug control.

April. The Bolivian Government, assisted by LulledFund for Drug Abuse Control IUNFDaC'i and itie World Bank,eeting in Vienna of potential donors for antidrug programs. Potential West European donors indicated iheir support fortrategy but refrained from making concrete commitments to contributehe program.

May. Feasors, possibly incited by traffickers, blocked roads in the Chaportin fifties*of government coca reduction plans.ytraining UM&tAR. Bolivia's specialised police ndreetrir strike force.

June. Gdwhmujii and peasant unions signed an agreement on coca substitution in which La Fa: promises to giveole in formulating development protects.polilieal leaderseminar to discuss the antidrug plan and ihe proposed narcotics law.

July. La Fa; created ihe National Council Againsi Drug Abuse and Illegal Drug Trafficking andeiariats for crop reduction andew police-military counternarcoiies structure headedeilrtdpecial Air Force support group ore formed.

Antinareoties activity ilowrdesult of heavy seasonal 'Bins and the reorganization of Bolivian cevnternarcoues forces to continue Blast Furnoce-iype operations

January- Bolivia'i Senate began deliberations on the new narcotics la-February. Bolivia and ihe United States signed theof Principles of Narcotics Cooperation, on umbrella Otreimem adopting the three-year strategy to be followed bv annexes on specific onions President Fo:ew cabinet, replacing the Ministers of Interior and Agriculture, not* rumored io be on the payroll of narcotics traffickers.

March. Bolivian Senate approved narcotics bill and sent it to ;hr Chamber of Deputies for consideration.

August. La Pa; signed the two annexes io ihe February bilateral narcotics agreement, beginning tht one-year peri-odforectares of coca. The Bolivian Congress returneds annual recess; the Chamber of Deputiesew narcotics committee to review the drug bill.

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September. Boliviaast-minute effort io satisfy US eradication reouirementi but failed to meet the mid-month deadline and7 million in economic and military funding.

October. US border patrol advisers began worki UMOPAR troops at Chopare checkpoints.

November. Congress recessed for six weeks tomembers to campaign for municipal candidates, further delaying the drug bill. Bolivian coca reduction officials cloimed thor some !S0 hectares of coca had beensince September

Resources and Training: Tbe L'S Contribution

elieve La Pai will continue toeavily or, the L'niiec ;c: to Supply the resources and training "eedcfl by us cour.-trr.arcoiicj forcearry outa rifles operations. The United States hai:

six Kuey helicopters to the Bolivian Air Parse arte plans to proviCe tigh:atrol ioaii to ;heavy. expressly for us: .r. drug irtierdseticr..

the Bolivian armed forcesnd rivers and ira -ascutilice'sOpeciaifasc namiics pciictianiry ;oc;ics.

Funded projects to upgrade iaciiities usad by en-lorcament units and is providing supplies. tactical intelligence, and technical guidance to forcescountemarcotics missions.

ed by large capital facilities such as transportation, irrigation, and electrification. In addition, the govern-mem must have the capability to prevent the spread o' coca cultivation to other areas

(orcover. export markets for possible 'substitutecoffee, or soybeans forcommodities facerestrict ions are uncompetitivebecause of high production or trawporur-'

Crop Reduction: Succns More Remote

Bolivia's antidrug strategy relies ondestruction of cocaconjunction with cropof illegal cropsegalback illicit drug crops and prevent new coca plantings. In ourboth components of coca reduction must proceed in tandem, makinga long-term proposal that could faee manyEradication of coca tn the absence of crop substitution or some other alternative form ofalmost certainly will be economically anddisruptive, possibly forcing farmers to migrate to cities where they will exacerbate existingand overwhelm social service programs. The prospects for such disruption, the likelihood of intense resistance from growers who stand to lose theirand the difficulty of carrying out andmanual eradication probably will deter La Pal from wholeheartedly pursuing coca reduction unui viable economic alte-natnes are available.

jCurrent crep substitution programs will be only marginally successful if providing aher-mrive employment for producers during the net: year. Crop substitution is byong-term endeavor tha: takes man* yearsmplement. In order for such programs to take hold, projects must be backed by extensive financial roourccs jnd technical eipertise in remote andareas ano establish extensive marketing and distribution systems support-

Prospects for the Near Term

President Pat Esienssoro's cooperation with theStates in Operation Blast Furnace and histo approve Bolivia's most comprehensive drug

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