The link below provides access to the full story.
The text below the link is just excerpt from the story for reference purposes, because the way I figure it:
1.) Bolivia stands to lose $150 mil annually in US anti-drug aid.
2.) Last year, Bolivian police seized 12 TONS of coke in the Chapare region, alone.
3.) If coke sells for $ 7,000 per kilo in Bolivia, then 12 tons equates to $168 mil.
It seems to me that by refusing US anti-drug aid, Bolivia would actually end up with an $18 million dollar surplus from the revenue of cocaine sales if they were to actually sell all the cocaine that was seized from just that one region.
This makes me wonder how much more they could make from the sale of coke seized from other regions.
This does not even begin to account for all the coke that successfully made it to the US, and the money from those sales that found it’s way into foreign bank accounts (yet another loss to Bolivias' economy) to be kept hidden from US and Bolivian officials.
It seems ridiculously apparent that accepting financial aid to support the US anti-drug effort is actually bad-business for the Bolivian economy.
[noparse]http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/13675049.htm[/noparse] [original article no longer available]
Election of Morales complicates U.S. effort against coca production
Posted on Fri, Jan. 20, 2006
By Jack Chang
Knight Ridder Newspaper
LA PAZ, Bolivia - As former coca grower Evo Morales prepares to take the oath of office as Bolivia's new president on Sunday, a battle over the U.S.-funded anti-drug efforts in this impoverished, cocaine-producing country is taking shape.
Morales has promised to fight production of the drug, but protect the cultivation of its main ingredient, coca leaf, which traditionally is chewed to increase stamina and suppress hunger in the high-altitude Andean country.
Coca is widely grown in Bolivia, even though it's illegal in most of the country. Morales, 46, promised during the campaign that he'd decriminalize coca growing.
"We say no to zero coca, but we are promoting zero cocaine," Morales said Thursday. "We are going to try to interdict the narco-traffickers."
One of Morales' top coca advisers, Dionicio Nunez, goes further, saying the new government will likely end cooperation with U.S. anti-narcotics forces, which have been in the country since the late 1980s.
Such a move could endanger an average of $150 million in annual U.S. foreign and anti-drug aid to Bolivia, much of it contingent on U.S. officials certifying that the country is doing its part to stop cocaine production.
...Bolivian government officials long have charged that growers know how coca leaf is used to produce cocaine in regions such as the Chapare,
...Last year, Bolivian anti-drug police discovered more than 4,000 maceration pits, where coca leaf is mixed with sulphuric acid and other chemicals and stomped into paste, the first step in cocaine production. Most of the pits were found in remote spots of the Chapare.
Bolivian police also seized more than 12 tons of cocaine last year, mostly in the Chapare, a 36 percent increase from the year before
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