BEYOND OPERATION BLAST FURNACE: BOLIVIA'S STRUGGLE AGAINST NARCOTICS

Created: 2/19/1988

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SUBJECT: BEYOND OPERATION BLAST FURNACE: BOLIVIA'S STRUGGLE AGAINST NARCOTICS |

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THE FOLLOWINGUDGMENTS AREECENTLY PUBLISHED INTELLIGENCE ASSESSMENT AND APE FOR US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ONLY.

BEYOND OPERATION BLAST FURNACE: BOLIVIA'S STRUGGLE AGAINST NARCOTICS

KEY JUDGMENTS

INFORMATION AVA1LA3LE AS OF 31 7 KAS USED IN THIS REPORT.

ONCE OURCE OF INTERMEDIATE COCA PRODUCTS FOR COLCKBIAN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATIONS, BOLIVIA HAS EMERGEDAJOR SUPPLIER OF COCAINE TO THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET. THE EXPANDING COCAINE TRADE HASEW GENERATION OF POWERFUL TRAFFICKING

FCR RELEASE L'ATE: M

ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE THREATENING BOLIVIA'S FRAGILE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STA3ILITY AND FUELING NARCOTICS ACTIVITY IN OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUHTRIES. USING THE ENORMOUS PROFITS COCAINE SALES GENERATE, THE TRAFFICKERS HAVE ACQUIRED POLITICAL INFLUENCE AT ALMOST ALL LEVELS OF THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING HIGII-LEVEI MEMBERS OF THE PAZ ESTENSSORO ADMINISTRATION. I

UNDER PRODDING FROM THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENT PAZ ESTENSSOBO'S GOVERNMENT HASETAILED THREE-YEAR PLAN TO EXPAND INTERDICTION AND COCA ERADICATION EFFORTS ANDILATERAL NARCOTICS AGREEMENT WITH TKE UNITED STATES GUARANTEEING FINANCING, TRAINING, AND EQUIPMENT. TKE STRATEGY DEPENDS ON SUSTAINED INTERDICTION TO CURTAIL COCA PROCESSING, THEREBY REDUCING BOTH THE DEMAND FOR COCA LEAF AND THE PRICE PEASANTS CAN OBTAIN FOR THEIR PRODUCT. KITH OTHER CASH CROPS COMPETITIVE WITH COCA, THE STAGE WOULD BE SET FOR ERADICATION AND CROP SUBSTITUTION PROGRAMS. LA PA7. INTENDS TO IMPROVE THS PLAN'S LEGAL FOUNDATIONEW OMNIBUS DRUG LAW THAT CONSOLIDATES PREVIOUS NARCOTICS DECREES, INCREASES PUNISHMENT FOR DRUG CRIMES, AND DELINEATES LEGAL COCA GROWING AREAS. [

BOLIVIA'S COUNTERNARCOTICS PROGRAM IS LIKELY TO MOVE SLOWLY NEAR TERM. KEY CABINET MINISTERS ARE ALREADY WAVERING IN AND ADMINISTRATIVEIN THE

3UREAUCRACIES CHARGED WITH IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM REMAINWITH EXTENSIVE US FINANCING AND ASSISTANCE, WE EXPECTOPERATIONS TO HAVE MUCH LESS EFFECT THAN THOSETROCPS AND EQUIPMENT- TRAFFICKERS ARE NOT LIKELY TO HALTAS READILY AS WHEN US FORCES WERE PRESENT, TO RELY ON DECEPTION OR FORCE TO PROTECT THEIRCONTINUE OPERATIONS, FACTORS THAT WILL ALLOW CCCA PRICESAT PROFITABLE LEVELS. AS LONG AS COCA FARMERS EARN THE CROP CONTROL EFFORT IS UNLIKELY TO KEEP UPCULTIVATION.

LA PAZ HAS LITTLE TIME LEFT TO IMPLEMENT MEASURES THAT MAYDISRUPTION CF THE COCAINE TRADE BEFORE THE NARCOTICSGENERATED UNDER PAZ ESTENSSORO IS DIMINISHED BY PREELECTION POLITICS, UCCESSOR TOHOLESS WILLING TO WORK WITH THE UNITED STATES OH DRUG INFLUENCE COULD BEGIN TO ERODE AS THE9 ELECTION AND POLITICAL DEFECTIONS BY HIS SUPPORTERS BECOME IN OUR JUDGMENT, PAZ'S MOST LIKELY SUCCESSORS, JAIMEAND EX-PRESIDENT HUGO BAHZER, WILL BE EVEN LESS COMMITTEDCONTROL, AND THE ACTIONS OF BOTH ARE LIKELY TO BETO COSMETIC GESTURES DESIGNED TO ENSURE CONTINUEDAND POLITICAL SUPPORT.

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