Two days after Barack Obama's administration claimed Bolivia “failed demonstrably” in its war on drugs, the head of the delegation of the European Union (EU) in Bolivia, Timothy Torlot, this Thursday assured all the contrary by saying that Bolivia's anti-drug policy has been successful,
“In my opinion, the work we have achieved has been successful, the results as well are visible in the successful and sustained reduction of the coca production in the country, and successes as well related with the prohibition,” Torlot said.
“My experience here, working with the Bolivians, is one of a government that seriously executes its work, that has proved its results, no need to talk with the U.S. government about that, but as I said, we are working on it and there is always more to do,” he added.
In a statement released on September 15, the U.S. government claimed that Venezuela and Bolivia – along with Burma – failed to comply with international anti-drug agreements over the past year.
According to David Gagne from Insight Crime Analysis, these accusations would be highly political and reflect the Latin American left wing governments “shaky” diplomatic relations with the United States, as both have expelled U.S. diplomats on claims of conspiracy (Venezuela in 2013, Bolivia in 2009).
President Evo Morales also expelled the Drug Enforcement Agency in 2008 after a WikiLeaks cable revealed it was spying on his private life.
Morales also personally criticized the U.S.' assertion over its anti-drug policy on Wednesday during a public event in Yacuiba, close to the Argentine border.
“They can do what they do, say what they say, shout from the United States, the people will not let themselves be confused by this type of report,” he said.
According to a report of the United Nations against Drug and Crime (UNODC), the coca crops have decreased from 25,300 hectares in 2012 to 23,000 in 2013, which is about a 10 percent reduction. This success is mainly due to the Bolivian government's efforts of rationalization and eradication, according to the report.
The UNODC report ensured that Bolivia complied with the international norms in respect with the destruction of illegal drug crops in 2013.
The EU has been financially supporting Bolivia in its combat against drug-trafficking since 1999 with over US$160 millions, and will be dedicating about US$78 million over the next three years, announced Torlot.