Category Archives: Coca

Original Text–Memorandum of Justification for U.S. “Decertification” of Bolivia

Below is the text of the White House’s Memorandum of Justification  for  Bolivia, used to justify the ninth consecutive “decertification” of Bolivia’s drug control efforts:



“During the past 12 months, the Bolivian government has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under applicable international counternarcotics agreements or uphold the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961, as amended. Bolivia is the world’s third largest cultivator of coca leaf used for the production of cocaine and other illegal narcotics derivatives.

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Some are more equal than others: U.S. “decertification” of Bolivia’s Drug Control Efforts

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Some are more equal than others:

                   U.S. “decertification” of Bolivia’s Drug Control Efforts

                                                          Kathryn Ledebur and Julia Romani Yanoff

                                                                                  Andean Information Network

                                                                                                    September 21, 2016

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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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Humanosphere article outlines Bolivia’s successful coca reduction

In an interview with Humanosphere, AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur discusses the gradual, but successful reduction of coca in Bolivia due to community coca control:

“’Wide-scale changes like this take time, and Bolivia is making slow but steady progress in the right direction,’ said Kathryn Ledebur, director of the Andean Information Network (AIN), in an interview with Humanosphere.”

To read the complete article, click the link here.

Credit: Nick Jewell/Flickr
Credit: Nick Jewell/Flickr

Recent Statistics on Coca Cultivation in the Andes

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s recently published Coca Monitoring Reports for Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru reveal that Bolivia once again is the lowest producer of coca among the Andean countries. Peru produces nearly twice as much coca as Bolivia, while Colombia, having experienced a surge in coca production since last year, produces nearly five times the amount of coca as Bolivia. Whereas Colombia and Peru continue to implement forced eradication strategies, Bolivia’s community coca control strategy has proven successful in decreasing levels of coca production.Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 3.50.15 PM

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Bolivia’s Historic Drop in Coca Cultivation Holds Steady

Authors: Kathryn Ledebur (AIN) and Coletta A. Youngers (WOLA).

Commentary.- For the fifth year in a row, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has reported a decline in the area under coca cultivation in the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Between 2010 and 2014, the country achieved a remarkable 34 percent net reduction in the area under coca cultivation. UNODC estimated 20,400 hectares of coca in Bolivia in 2014.

To read this paper please click here: Commentary Bolivia’s Historic Drop in Coca Cultivation Holds Steady

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UNODC Official Coca Statistics July 2016

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released its 2015 Coca Crop Monitoring Survey for Bolivia, showing a one percent reduction in overall cultivation. There was also an increase in the price of dried coca leaf , as well as cocaine seizures. AIN’s translation of the summary of the report is here: link: UNODC BOLIVIA Coca monitoring results-July 2016

Analysis from WOLA and AIN coming tomorrow. Survey (Spanish) The UNODC Press Release in English:

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