In an unfortunate statement, let alone non-diplomatic channel, government minister labeled the International Narcotics Control Board (UN Vienna Convention, JIFE in Spanish) statement as “hypocritical” his not-so-clear /indirect remarks in reference to the INCB (made to local press on July 6th 2011). Regardless of this government’s position about coca chewing, I believe this reaction is more damaging to our credibility in the fight against cocaine production and consumption.
July 7th, 2011 editorial from El Dia, analyses over how current president may be changing his views regarding the coca-cocaine issues. The call for help to European Ambassadors to “intercede” over diplomatic relations restoration with the USA; the capture of two major Colombian drug lord traffickers, immediately extradited; the accusations to the cocalero unions for growing coca well over the approved “cato” (there are coca growers producing over 40 times the legal plot) and cogitation them about exceeding those limits; he also threatened them about bringing the DEA to country over again. All of the above are signs that something is changing.
Editorial also mentions that there is an estimate of 3,000 narco Colombians fled their country and are now in Bolivia. Plus the capture and trial of General Sanabria in a Miami Court are important for this reaction.
The Bolivian government has recently announced the approval for at least three unmanned anti-drug surveillance planes from Brazil will start helping Bolivia in the antinarcotics war.
I believe it does not matter the reasons for a change in attitude, what counts is that the war against drug trafficking must continue. Bolivia can not afford nor is it morally acceptable to evade our responsibility. It is wrong to have extremely large coca plantations (that exceed existing coca chewing needs) as it is also wrong to allow Peruvian cocaine to cross freely our territory en-route to other markets. Furthermore, it is proven that a prolonged coca plantation deplete its soil and coca paste production releases large amounts of pollutants to our rivers. And please, let us not forget how cocaine economy permeates and poisons our society.