Category Archives: Human Rights, Impunity

Bolivia Prison Report: Marginal Progress and Unwieldly Challenges

AIN logoPrison reform: Marginal Progress and Unwieldly Challenges

by Linda Farthing for the Andean Information Network*

Chronic overcrowding, largely created by an overuse of preventive detention, is endemic in Bolivia’s prison system. Most Bolivians support locking up those accused of crimes until their trials take place, believing that it serves to reduce delinquency .[1] The U.S. imposed Drug Law 1008 further exacerbates the congested conditions.

Institutional weakness of the police and judiciary further violate the rights of incarcerated populations, especially the most vulnerable: indigenous peoples, women and juveniles. Efforts by the current government (MAS – Movimiento al Socialismo) at reform have led to declines in pre-trial detention, female incarceration, and drug-related sentences. Nonetheless, police and judicial corruption, insufficient funding, and continuing public opposition to alternatives to incarceration continue to impede any improvement.

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Informe de UNASUR Destaca Control Social de la Coca en Bolivia

Hoy día, el informe: “De la Guerra al Cuidado de las Personas: Políticas de Drogas en Suramérica Después de UNGASS” fue presentado en La Paz. Kathryn Ledebur de la RAI asistió a la presentación.

Este informe explora políticas de drogas desde un enfoque basado en los derechos humanos y la salud publica. En varios momentos el informe destaca la experiencia de Bolivia con el control social de coca como un ejemplo de una estrategia innovadora y comunitaria que ha reducido la cantidad de coca en el país y a la vez ha protegido derechos humanos.

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UNASUR Report Highlights Achievements of Bolivian Coca Control

Today, UNASUR’s report, “From War to Protection of People: Drug Policies in South America Post-UNGASS” was presented in La Paz. AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur attended the presentation.

The report outlines UNASUR’s commitment to human rights and public health-based drug policies on the continent. In numerous instances it draws on Bolivia’s experience with community coca control as an example of an innovative, collaborative strategy that has both reduced coca and upheld human rights.

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Case Study on Bolivia in UNDP Report: “Reflections On Drug Policy And Its Impact On Human Development: Innovative Approaches”

Protecting indigenous rights and promoting sustainable development: The story of Bolivia

“Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of coca, the plant from which cocaine, as well as the secret ingredient in Coca-Cola, is derived. Coca leaves have been an essential part of Andean economic life and culture for thousands of years. In its natural form, coca is a mild stimulant that suppresses hunger, thirst, pain and fatigue, aids in digestion, provides vitamins and minerals lacking in local staples and has medicinal uses, including treating altitude sickness (Farthing and Kohl, 2014). Coca is an essential part of indigenous rituals and social interactions. Indigenous people have been chewing coca leaf for centuries, and millions of people in the Andean region of South America chew coca and drink coca tea daily.

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Working Paper by Thomas Grisaffi and Kathryn Ledebur: Supply Control or Social Control

Abstract: For over two decades the US has funded repressive forced coca eradication in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia to reduce the illegal cocaine trade. These policies have never met their stated goals and have generated violence and poverty. In 2006 Bolivia definitively broke with the US anti-narcotics model, replacing the militarized eradication of coca crops with a community-based coca control strategy. The program substantially reduced the coca crop while providing subsistence and citizenship for farmers and respecting human rights. This article outlines the elements of the Bolivian initiative that ensure its functioning and considers to what extent they can be translated to other contexts. More broadly this paper draws attention to the fundamental inability of supply side control initiatives to slow the illegal drug trade, which is driven by continuing demand and exorbitant profits.

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Huffington Post: ‘Operation Naked King: U.S. Secretly Targeted Bolivia’s Evo Morales In Drug Sting

Authors: Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief, The Huffington Post, and Nick Wing
Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post

Original article from the Huffington Post. Reproduced with permission.

The United States has secretly indicted top officials connected to the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales for their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme. The indictments, secured in a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sting called “Operation Naked King,” have not been previously reported.

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Cultivos de coca en Bolivia siguen bajando según ONUDD: comunicado de prensa

INNOVADORAS POLÍTICAS BOLIVIANAS DE CONTROL DE COCA LOGRAN IMPORTANTE REDUCCIÓN EN EL CULTIVO

Experiencia boliviana contiene lecciones para países andinos, ofrece alternativa a la erradicación forzosa

Washington, D.C. y Cochabamba, Bolivia — Por cuarto año consecutivo, Bolivia ha experimentado una reducción en el cultivo de hoja de coca, según estadísticas dadas a conocer hoy por la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas sobre Drogas y el Delito (ONUDD). Un análisis de estos datos, realizado por la Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA) y la Red Andina de Información (AIN), revela que las políticas sobre coca de este país —basadas en la “reducción del cultivo de coca mediante la cooperación” antes que la erradicación forzosa— son responsables por esta reducción. Se estima que en 2014 el cultivo de coca ocupó 20.400 hectáreas, el nivel más bajo alcanzado en más de una década.El informe de WOLA y AIN, “Consolidando Avances” (solo disponible en inglés) muestra que el cultivo de la hoja de coca en Bolivia ha disminuido un 34 por ciento entre 2010 y 2014. El informe identifica asimismo que el desarrollo económico, la cooperación con comunidades cocaleras y el respeto por los derechos humanos han sido los principales factores que impulsaron estas consistentes reducciones. Esta experiencia contiene lecciones clave para el Perú y Colombia, los dos principales productores de coca en el mundo, los cuales siguen aplicando campañas de erradicación forzosa a pesar de los daños que éstas causan y de su ineficacia para lograr reducciones duraderas del cultivo de coca.“Los éxitos de Bolivia envían un mensaje claro: la erradicación forzosa del cultivo de coca no es efectiva ni justa, y únicamente conduce a ciclos de pobreza y violaciones a los derechos humanos—no a reducciones sostenidas en el cultivo de coca”, dijo Coletta A. Youngers, Asociada Principal de WOLA y co-autora del informe. “Mediante acciones para brindar a los agricultores cocaleros alternativas económicas y para permitirles el cultivo de pequeñas cantidades para consumo tradicional, Bolivia ha reducido la oferta de coca que se desvía hacia el mercado ilícito”.

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Coca Cultivation in Bolivia Continues To Drop: WOLA/AIN Joint Press release

BOLIVIA’S INNOVATIVE COCA POLICY SECURES MAJOR DROP IN CULTIVATION

Bolivian Experience Holds Lessons for Andean Countries, Offers Alternative to Forced Eradication

Washington, D.C. and Cochabamba, Bolivia—Bolivia has seen a decline in coca cultivation for the fourth consecutive year, according to data released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). An analysis of this data by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Andean Information Network (AIN) reveals that the country’s coca policy—which relies on “cooperative coca reduction” rather than forced eradication—is responsible for the drop.Coca cultivation in 2014 is estimated to be 20,400 hectares, the lowest level in over a decade.

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