Category Archives: Chart of the Day

Quantifying Chaos: ONDCP Cocaine Production Statistics

The U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) recently released coca/cocaine statistics for Bolivia present confusing results.  The ONDCP reports a 4.28% increase in coca cultivation in Bolivia since 2015 (despite UN reports that coca cultivation has decreased for the fifth year in a row) and a 24.32% surge in cocaine production.

However, they provide little explanation of the methodology used to calculate these figures. Furthermore, the ONDCP  inflate its statistics, and then retroactively change them. The following chart shows varying  ONDCP statistics for the same years on  different dates. For example, the 2011 potential cocaine production figures posted on Saturday, August 27  show a lower figure for 2011 potential cocaine production than what was published in 2012,  with no explanation. This is not the first time AIN has noticed ONDCP retroactive modifications. These repeated retroactive adjustments and lack of a transparent methodology raise questions about the credibility of ONDCP coca and cocaine estimates for Bolivia.

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Inconsistencies in U.S. Government Potential Cocaine Production Estimates

Saturday evening, the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published its updated coca and potential cocaine production estimates for the Andes. Not only did these figures diverge from the statistics in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2015 Report, but they also conflict with figures from another U.S. government agency, the U.S. State Department. The International Narcotics Control Strategic Report published in March presented potential cocaine production estimates different from the White House ones, as seen by the following chart.

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Estadisticas de Coca: ONUDD vs. EEUU

La Oficina Nacional de Políticas para el Control de Drogas de los EEUU publicó el Sábado en la noche sus estimaciones para el cultivo de coca en la región Andina de 2015.

La publicación dice: “los Estados Unidos usa métodos variados, incluso imágenes satélites, para calcular su estimación de producción de coca en Bolivia. Tenemos confianza en nuestra metodología.”

No obstante,  la metodología estadounidense es un misterio por la comunidad internacional, y las estadísticas varian entre los calculados por los Estados Unidos y la Oficina Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito (ONUDD), lo cual cuenta con una metodología detallada y transparente.

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U.S. White House Bolivia Coca Estimates vs. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Statistics

The U.S. White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published its 2015 estimates for Coca in the Andes this past Saturday evening.

In its report it says, “the United States uses a variety of methods, including satellite imagery, as a basis for its estimate of coca cultivation in Bolivia. We are confident in our methodology.”

Nonetheless, the U.S. methodology remains unknown to the international community, and the figures released vary considerably with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) statistics, which count on a transparent and thorough methodology.

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