The latest UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) figures on coca cultivation in Bolivia, released on July 19, show a substantial increase in growing areas in 2016 after several years of decline. The Bolivian authorities led by President Evo Morales had been quick to vindicate permissive policies towards coca growers, arguing that these have helped achieve a substantial reduction since the Movement for Socialism (MAS) administration took over in 2006.
- Bolivia will seek to avoid further increases in coca production that substantially breach the new limits introduced by recent legislation.
- Cocaine control will be ineffective as long as state institutions remain weak in remote regions where trafficking happens.
- Brazil is showing increasing concern about tackling narcotics flows more effectively.
- Demand for cocaine is likely to rise in many of Bolivia’s neighbours.