Bolivia Losing Money Supporting US Drug War

By Woodman · Jan 21, 2006 · Updated Jun 12, 2013 · ·
  1. Woodman
    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][/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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  1. Solidly-here
    The question about the Value of Cocaine, versus the value of the US aid, is more complicated than just dollar-for-dollar.

    If the Bolivian government could re-sell all of the Cocaine that it confiscates, then it could make quite a bit of money back (and so, refuse the US aid). But, the government (obviously) just destroys all of the Cocaine that it finds.

    In this case, the government actually makes nothing, while arresting its people and impounding their Cocaine.

    And, if Bolivia allows its people to make the extra $168 Million, then the government does not get that money . . . just some of its citizens.

    Therefore, the Country of Bolivia (itself) will make more by accepting the US anti-Drug aid.

    And the citizens of Bolivia will suffer more, because of the US aid. More of them will be in jail, more of them will be put out of work, more of the Cocaine processors will lose their inventory, more of the farmers will lose their crop of Coca leaves.

    This reminds me of Charities. Many foreign-aid charities give Millions of dollars to certain countries, to help the people in those countries. Certain leaders (or maybe MOST leaders) steal-off a portion of that foreign aid . . . and then re-sell the food (blankets, etc.) to their citizens.

    In the governmental foreign aid world, it is the same. The Bolivian government accepts aid from the US, so that it can screw its own people, and put them out of business, and put them into jail. The Bolivian government is acting-out the hatred the US government has for Bolivians who are involved in the Cocaine trade.
  2. Woodman
    ...and where do you think governments get their money from?
  3. Solidly-here
    A Government gets the money to run, by taxing certain activities: Tariffs, sales tax, income tax ...

    If I made a Million dollars processing Cocaine, I would probably not report it in my annual Tax forms. After all, it IS illegal. Therefore, the Bolivian government doesn't get any income off of this $168 Million, or of the entire Multi-Billion dollar Industry.

    Of course, the Good news is for the citizens of Bolivia. Many 1000s of people have employment, and 100s of people make a Great living. So, actually this is most important point supporting Cocaine production: Bolivia prospers.

    Unfortunately, the Bolivian government would rather have that $150 Million dollars in THEIR coffers, then they get to decide how to serve their consituent's needs best.

    If I was the President of Bolivia, I would turn down that money, and break ties with the DEA. Then I would push the legislature to pass a law legalizing the Cocaine trade (and, of course, taxing its profits). But, that is for another Post.
  4. Daeron
    this morales may just have what it takes....well see. i support all of his expressed views. but lets see if hell walk the walk..

    plus it is utterly fascistic to ban one plant thats so culturally integrated, tracing back far before the incas. why dont we do so w fucking nicotine then? hmm?
  5. Nagognog2
    Evo Morales has made a good many friends in the New England states in the USA. He has sent up a large supply of home-heating oil at cost for the poor citizens in the region - at the same time as the Bush regime has shut down heating-assistance programs for the poor and elderly. As the Bush regime cries "Commie! Druggie!" at Bolivia, they are also allowing the oil companies to raise their rates ever upwards - resulting in many deaths of people who can't afford medicine, food, AND heat at the same time. Evo Morales is a hero in New England. I think you know what Bush is. It's spelled FASCIST.
  6. Woodman
    Unfortunately, a successful Bolivian Presidency will take more than the implementation of policy overhaul, and extending international niceties like low-cost heating oil.

    There must also be stringent accounting measures, introduction of sunshine laws, and redundant oversight of government revenue in order to prevent the kind of corruption that has plagued that part of the world.

    Without that, I expect that Morales will succumb to the temptation that has been the downfall of many a latin-american leader, and end up becoming a despised dictator.

    He's got a big job ahead of him.
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