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Abstract: Colombia currently accounts for the vast bulk of cocaine produced in
Latin America. In 2009, the country produced 270 metric tons (MT)
of cocaine, making it the principal supplier for both the United States
and the worldwide market. Besides Colombia, Peru and Bolivia constitute
two additional important sources of cocaine in Latin America.
In 2009, these two countries generated enough base material to respectively
yield 225 and 195 MT of refined product.
Between 60 and 65 percent of all Latin American cocaine is trafficked
to the United States, the bulk of which is smuggled via the eastern
Pacific/Central American corridor. The remainder is sent through
the Caribbean island chain, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto
Rico, and Haiti acting as the main transshipment hubs. In both cases,
Mexico serves as the main point of entry to mainland America, presently
accounting for the vast majority of all illicit drug imports to the
Abstract: In recent years, there has been increased interest in understanding how donor interventions in situations of fragility and conflict can contribute tot he processes of statebuilding. While external actors cannot determine the outcome of those processes, they can target their assistance to support positive statebuilding dynamics. Donors must ensure that they "do no harm" and consider both the intended and unintended consequences of their interventions. This publication fills an important knowledge gap by addressing two fundamental questions: what are the negative impacts that donor interventions can have on statebuilding; and what measures should donors adopt to avoid negative impacts on statebuilding processes? Do No Harm argues that the challenges of statebuilding are such that donors must develop a sophisticated understanding of political processes, patterns of state-society relations and sources of legitimacy in the countries where they are oeprating. Based on an extensive literature review and on six country case-studies (Afghanistan, Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC], Nepal, Rwanda and Sierra Leon), Do No Harm offers a valuable addition to our knowledge on statebuilding in situations of fragility and conflict.
Abstract: This Overview summarises the key findings and policy challenges identified by the CRISE
research programme in its evaluation of three Latin American countries. The case studies
selected were the three countries with the largest indigenous populations in proportionate
terms: Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru. The underlying research challenge was to understand
the role of horizontal or group inequality in overall acute inequality in the countries studied,
and the relevance of group inequality to political violence.
The paper shows that horizontal inequalities (HIs)—political, social, economic and cultural—
are deeply embedded in two of these countries, Guatemala and Peru, and have played a significant
role in terrible political violence. They remain severe; indeed, political HIs have worsened
in some respects with the legacy of violence and repression. In Guatemala and Peru, the pervasiveness
of embedded prejudice and ways of thinking make even good policy initiatives
non-functional. In Bolivia, meanwhile, an exceptional set of political and geographical circumstances has,
over many decades, resulted in political accommodation mechanisms that have avoided
widespread violence and led to a genuine improvement in political HIs.
Abstract: This study is concerned with analysing the routes in and out of political violence in selected
countries – Bolivia and Peru, Tajikistan and Yemen - within Latin America, the Caribbean,
Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EMAD) regions. The study
explores the following key issues: the importance of multiple and hybrid identities as the basis of claims, forms of empowerment and supporting citizenship; the extent to which tendencies to violence around these claims are rooted in processes of exclusion and identity with deepening economic, social and political
inequalities; pathways to dialogue and the political space within which both political violence and
ways forward emerge; and the links between social cohesion, identity politics and pathways out of political
The study cautions against the tendency to identify particular identity groups with extremist or
Abstract: Addressing discrimination, inequality and human rights is a core challenge of the
state-building and peace-building process. It is at the centre of the negotiation of
state–society relations and is a process rife with contradictions and tensions. Donors
thus have a responsibility to address discrimination within their support to peacebuilding
The first section of this paper sets out what we understand by discrimination, drawing
on human rights principles and DFID’s conceptualisation of social exclusion as
systematic disadvantage which results from discrimination. The second section
explores why discrimination matters in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence. The
third section sets out how DFID and other donors can address discrimination as part
of efforts to support peace-building and state-building. The paper concludes with a
summary of key lessons.
Abstract: President Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 15 February 2009 referendum, permitting indefinite re-election of all elected officials, marked an acceleration of his “Bolivarian revolution” and “socialism of the 21st century”. Chávez has since moved further away from the 1999 constitution, and his government has progressively abandoned core liberal democracy principles guaranteed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The executive has increased its power and provoked unrest internally by further politicising the armed forces and the oil sector, as well as exercising mounting influence over the electoral authorities, the legislative organs, the judiciary and other state entities. At the same time, Chávez’s attempts to play a political role in other states in the region are producing discomfort abroad. The December 2010 legislative elections promise to further polarise an already seriously divided country, while unresolved social and mounting economic problems generate tensions that exacerbate the risk of political violence. Taking advantage in 2009 of a non-electoral year in which he stands to lose little in terms of political capital, as well as of his undisputed control of the National Assembly, Chávez has pushed through a series of laws that have been unpopular with broad sectors of the populace. Continued targeting of the political opposition and the mass media, coupled with growing economic, security and social problems, are deepening discontent. Ten years in power have failed to produce significant and sustainable improvements in the living conditions of the poorer segments of society, which are also experiencing critical levels of insecurity and stark deficiencies in basic public services. Tense relations with Colombia may take a toll on the president’s popularity at home.
Abstract: The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus.
Abstract: In recent years, Bolivia and Ecuador have faced so many challenges
to their stability and constitutional order that many
observers have wondered how these countries have avoided
slipping into widespread violent conflict. This paper examines
the political developments that have made these two of the
most volatile nations in the region. It also highlights the role
of the international community in preventing the eruption of
conflict in both countries.
The two South American nations share many common problems
and characteristics: they are highly divided societies
where wide sectors of the population have been historically
excluded from the political arena; they have weak political
parties that have been unable to create national coalitions;
they are fragile states that have been appropriated for the
personal benefit of elites; and their political structures have
been unable to effectively guarantee space for the resolution
of conflict within the existing legal frameworks. The combination
of these factors has contributed to the erosion of the
legitimacy of both states, further exacerbating intra-institutional
conflict and instability.
In this context, the 1990s saw the strengthening of social
movements that acquired important political salience and
that demanded a radical rethinking not only of how politics
operated, but of the configuration of the polity itself. In both
countries, the social movements took their demands to the
streets, staging massive protests that frequently paralyzed
the economy by blocking roads and airports. These contentious
tactics were met with fear and disdain by the political
establishment, which failed to effectively respond to their demands.
It is in this backdrop of contesting political discourses and
their consequent tensions that Evo Morales and Rafael Correa
won the presidential elections in Bolivia and Ecuador, respectively,
in 2006. Their triumphs are part of what is being
referred to as Latin America’s turn to the new left, after a wave of electoral contests clearly rejected the policies inspired by
the Washington-consensus, which had prevailed in the 1990s,
and brought to power left of center candidates in Argentina,
Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay
and Venezuela. This regional turn to the left has deservedly
received much attention3 and, as others have pointed out, it
would be a mistake to assume that all of these governments
are cut from the same mold. A tactical alliance with Venezuela
has provided both Ecuador and Bolivia the resources and
political support to allow their leaders to push forward radical
agendas without compromising with the opposition. While
ideologically closer to Chávez than to the more moderate
Bachelet in Chile and Lula in Brazil, Correa and Morales have
made efforts to not appear as mere mimics of the Venezuelan
president. When examining the potential for conflict, significant differences
in the political dynamics of these two nations must be
considered. While in both cases a strong regionalism permeates
social and political relations, the question of local autonomy
has become a serious threat for the unity of Bolivia.
The divide between the center of political power (La Paz) and
economic prosperity (Santa Cruz) has called into question the
strongly centralized government of Bolivia. The ethnic divide
that accompanies this division has resulted in the indigenous
population (who live mostly in the highlands) supporting Morales’
quest to retain that centralism as a feature of the new
constitution while the white and mestizo population of the
lowland ‘half moon’ (media luna) states demand greater autonomy
from the center. The level of confrontation between
these groups in Bolivia has been the source of violence rarely
seen in Ecuador. Also important to note is the higher level of
political independence of Rafael Correa, who arrived to the
Presidency after a brief political career, running under a newly
formed political movement. Contrary to Morales, Correa is not
part of a social movement with a long tradition, and thus is
free from having to respond to a set of specific demands. Morales’
agenda, on the other hand, has been defined not only
by the opposition, but also by the more radical sector of the
MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo), which is quick to remind him of the promises he made before and during the campaign to become their leader.
Abstract: What role does the legislature play in conflict management in fragile states? How can its role be strengthened? This study from Princeton University, UNDP and USAID assesses the situation in Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Uganda. It argues that the legislature can use its representative and deliberative capacities to become an effective institution for conflict management. Legislative strengthening should focus on three areas: building compromises within the legislature; overcoming executive-legislature imbalance; and strengthening linkages between constituents and the legislature through effective communication and representation.
Enabling legislatures to manage conflict is one of the most critical steps for achieving stability in fragile states. Peacebuilding may require adjustment or complete redesign of the state's institutional architecture in order to address structural deficiencies that contributed to conflict. Legislatures are the guarantors of pluralism and can help to ensure the proper workings of government, while protecting the interests of disenfranchised groups. Stakeholders can transfer their grievances from the battlefield to the political sphere and power-sharing mechanisms can be adopted to bring all segments of society into the political framework. In addition, stakeholders can pursue compromises and participate in making decisions on contentious issues through the legislature. An effective legislature can exercise oversight over the executive, acting as a check on an authority that, if unfettered, could abuse minority interests.
Abstract: When Bolivian President Evo Morales recently made his first visit ever to Washington, he gave a rousing speech before hundreds at American University, addressed the Organization of American States (OAS), and met with leaders of both political parties on Capitol Hill. Strikingly absent from his itinerary, however, was any interaction with the Bush administration.
Relations between the United States and Bolivia have grown particularly tense since September 10, when the Bolivian government expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg. La Paz accused him of supporting the political opposition at a time of escalating and racist violence by right-wing vigilante groups. Yet while the Morales administration declared Goldberg persona non grata, for all practical purposes, the Bush administration responded by declaring Bolivia a country non grata. In retaliation, the Bush administration "decertified" the country for allegedly failing to live up to Washington's expectations for counternarcotics efforts and shortly thereafter announced that Bolivia would be suspended from the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (APTDEA). According to the Bolivian government, an estimated 25,000 jobs could be lost when the suspension goes into effect.
But it's the Bush administration — not Bolivia — that's out of step with the region when it comes to drug policy. Across Latin America, frustration with the failed and protracted "war on drugs" is leading countries to experiment with new policies, from Bolivia's "coca yes, cocaine no" strategy, to the pardoning of small-time offenders in Ecuador, to efforts to decriminalize consumption in countries as diverse as Argentina and Mexico. The incoming Obama administration should take advantage of these new trends in Latin America to seek more effective and more humane drug control policies, at home and abroad.
Abstract: The alleged support by the United States of wealthy landowners, business leaders, and their organizations tied to the violent uprising in eastern Bolivia has led U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg's expulsion from La Paz and the South American government's demands that the United States stop backing the illegitimate rebellion. Goldberg had met with some of these right-wing oppositionist leaders just a week before the most recent outbreak of violence against the democratically elected government of Evo Morales, who won a recall referendum in August with over 67% of the popular vote.
U.S. subversion has assumed several forms since the leftist indigenous leader became president in 2005. For example, the U.S. embassy — in violation of American law — repeatedly asked Peace Corps volunteers, as well as an American Fulbright scholar, to engage in espionage, according to news reports.
Bolivia gets approximately $120 million in aid annually from the United States. It's an important supplement for a country of nine million people with an annual per capita income of barely $1,000. Presidential Minister Juan Ramón Quintana has accused the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of using some of this money to support a number of prominent conservative opposition leaders as part of a "democracy initiative" through the consulting firm Chemonics International. A cable from the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia last year revealed a USAID-sponsored "political party reform project" to "help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors" (MAS stands for Movimiento al Socialismo, the party to which Morales belongs.). Despite numerous requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the Bush administration refuses to release a list of all the recipient organizations of USAID funds.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: Two and a half years into his presidency, the Evo Morales reform programme has stalled, and
Bolivia is in political deadlock. His far reaching constitutional project, which would serve not
only to redistribute the country’s land and resource wealth but refound Bolivia on “plurinational”
lines, has been approved by the constituent assembly, but without the presence of the main
opposition party, who bitterly oppose the way the document distributes economic and political
power in the country.
The fallout from an imminent recall vote – and the political manoeuvring around it – will decide
whether his project gets moving again, or remains grounded. If it can be passed, however,
the constitution as it stands could construct an uncertain future for the country. Whether it
will provide a framework under which Bolivia’s multiple worldviews can mutually coexist and
cooperate, or lay the foundations for a country permanently divided, remains to be seen.
This paper analyses the situation in Bolivia on two levels – looking fi rst at the current debate over
distribution of land and resource wealth and the political context of the forthcoming August
10th recall vote, before moving on to a more in depth analysis of Bolivia’s new constitution,
looking in particular and the possible eff ects of trying to found a “plurinational” country.
Abstract: The 2007 Andean coca survey, released today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), shows a marked increase in coca cultivation. The total area of land under coca cultivation in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru in 2007 was 181,600 hectares, a 16% increase over 2006, and the highest level since 2001 (although well below figures from the 1990s). The increase was driven by a 27% rise in Colombia (for a total of 99,000 hectares), and smaller increases of 5% and 4% respectively in Bolivia and Peru. Despite the increase in coca cultivation, production was stable. In 2007, global potential production of cocaine reached 994 metric tons (mt), practically unchanged from the 984 mt recorded for 2006, the survey Coca Cultivation in the Andean Region showed. Even with the significant increase in coca cultivation, cocaine production in Colombia (the world's biggest producer) remained almost unchanged in 2007 (at 600 mt). Lower yields are caused by exploitation of peripheral coca plots - smaller, more dispersed, in remote locations. "In the past few years, the Colombian government destroyed large-scale coca farming by means of massive aerial eradication, which unsettled armed groups and drug traffickers alike. In the future, with the FARC in disarray, it may become easier to control coca cultivation" , said Mr. Costa.
Abstract: President Evo Morales’s efforts to consolidate sweeping reforms on the basis of a controversial new constitution have steered Bolivia into a cul-de-sac. On 8 December 2007, his supporters in the Constituent Assembly (CA) provisionally passed the text by running roughshod over procedures and virtually excluding opposition delegates. Weak attempts to bridge the deepening divide have failed, increasing potential for a violent confrontation both sides still seem to wish to avoid. Openly defying Morales in May 2008, however, Santa Cruz massively approved the department’s autonomy statutes by referendum. Two other eastern lowland departments followed suit, with the fourth expected to do so on 22 June. Morales is pushing for final adoption of the constitution by referendum and a popular vote of confidence. The Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union (EU) and several European countries, and the Group of Friends (Argentina, Brazil and Colombia) should provide good offices to help the government and opposition reach urgent agreement on a revised constitution that can keep the country together.
Abstract: Le Rapporteur spécial sur la situation des droits de lhomme et des libertés fondamentales
des peuples autochtones sest rendu en Bolivie en mission officielle, à linvitation du
Gouvernement, du 25 novembre au 7 décembre 2007, avec pour objectif de sinformer sur la
situation des droits de lhomme des peuples autochtones originels du pays. La présente note
préliminaire contient des informations initiales sur la mission du Rapporteur spécial. Celui-ci
présentera ultérieurement au Conseil des droits de lhomme un rapport complet sur la question,
comprenant des recommandations à lintention du Gouvernement et des autres acteurs
Abstract: Álvaro García Linera n’est pas seulement le vice-président et le « copilote » de Evo Morales, il est aussi une des plus éminentes figures intellectuelles de la Bolivie. Cela fait de lui tout à la fois un acteur de premier plan et un interprète privilégié du complexe processus politique et social initié le 22 janvier 2006 avec l’accès au pouvoir du président Evo Morales Ayma, le premier indigène à diriger les destinées de cette nation andine et amazonienne dont 62 % des habitants s’auto-identifient comme membres d’un peuple « originaire » (à savoir en majorité quechuas et aymaras). Fin 2005, après une tentative initiale de nommer à la vice-présidence un entrepreneur « patriote », Morales l’a invité à participer au binôme présidentiel, en vertu de sa position de « relai » - et de « traducteur », comme García Linera aime lui-même à se présenter - entre les secteurs paysans et indigènes et les classes moyennes urbaines. Ces dernières étaient en effet plutôt réticentes à voter pour un paysan « inculte » doté d’un simple baccalauréat obtenu dans un lycée de province, mais il leur était moins difficile d’accepter le leadership d’un dirigeant cocalero accompagné par « un homme qui sait », comme le signalait une des affiches de campagne d’Evo en novembre-décembre 2005.
Abstract: The May 4 referendum in Bolivia's Santa Cruz region to approve an autonomy statute highlights the deep lack of consensus that permeates Bolivian politics and society. Under its terms, the statute establishes Santa Cruz as an “autonomous department” within Bolivia with many of the rights and privileges normally reserved for a national government. The referendum, denounced by President Evo Morales and his supporters as illegitimate and unconstitutional, in fact tracks closely with the overall course of Bolivian politics during the last five years, leading to a situation in which the exercise of political power and the rule of law are often at odds. If this tendency is not reversed, Bolivia’s already weak social, regional, ethnic, and political fabric will fray.
Abstract: This book is about the conflicts, dialogues and negotiations underway in peri-urban areas of many cities in the South. It is about how people and communities without good access to water and sanitation services in these areas depend upon alternatives to conventional service delivery from utilities, and how these arrangements can be supported rather than hampered if we are creative. We see how stakeholders can sometimes be brought together to find better solutions to infrastructural development in peri-urban areas and how research can provide information, tools and approaches to facilitate these processes.
Abstract: This study will address the central question of whether Fair Trade - and in particular Fair Trade coffee
- has the potential to be used as a comprehensive tool for poverty reduction. More specifically, it will:
xe2x80xa2 assess the impact of Fair Trade on small-scale coffee producers in Bolivia
xe2x80xa2 analyse the impact of Fair Trade on producers not participating in Fair Trade
xe2x80xa2 explore the Fair Trade-conflict nexus by hypothesising a potential positive impact of Fair Trade
on conflict prevention.
Abstract: The report addresses the urgent need for leaders to engage in an inclusive dialogue as President Morales and his Movement toward Socialism (MAS) party press for sweeping state reforms. The Constituent Assembly (CA) failed to produce a new constitution within its original one-year time frame and has become the central battleground between the government and opposition forces representing the eastern lowlands and the urban middle classes. Intransigence on both sides has widened the social divide in an already polarised country, increasing the risk of conflict.
Abstract: The evidence presented in this Survey bears out an argument that UNODC has been making in
relation to the world drugs problem: the overall situation is stable, yet fragile.
In 2005, slight decreases in coca cultivation in Bolivia and Peru were offset by an increase in
Colombia. In 2006, the reverse occurred. While the regional trend was downward, this time a
decrease in Colombia was offset by increases in Bolivia and Peru.
Progress in Colombia can be attributed to record levels of eradication, both aerial and manual.
Colombia also continues to seize an impressive amount of its own cocaine, to intercept imports of
precursor chemicals, and to destroy drug labs. It is also facing up to the corrupting power of the
drugs trade on government, and seeking to break the links between drug trafficking and
But as the experience of Bolivia and Peru demonstrate, a long term reduction of the world's
supply of coca depends not only on effective law enforcement, but also on eradicating the poverty
that makes farmers vulnerable to the temptation of growing lucrative illicit crops. All Andean
countries require greater support for development assistance that can generate growth and create
brighter prospects for communities at the beginning of the supply chain. They should also be
encouraged to work more closely together to exchange intelligence on trafficking flows and carry
out joint operations.
The solution to the Andean coca problem does not rest solely in the region. Andean governments
would not be grappling with a problem on this scale if there was no global demand for cocaine.
This year alone, the Colombian authorities - at great risk and great expense - have eradicated
more than 200,000 hectares of coca: an area twice the size of New York City! Yet they will have
to do it again and again unless the world curbs its appetite for cocaine.
Global demand for cocaine is steady, with a decline in the United States offset by a rise in Europe.
In these affluent societies, where celebrities are often glamourized for their drug abuse, greater
investment is needed in drug prevention and treatment.
Meanwhile, countries of the Caribbean, Central America and West Africa are caught in the crossfire:
their societies, already made vulnerable by poverty, are increasingly exposed to the crime of
drug trafficking and the tragedy of drug abuse.
In short, recent evidence suggests that the drug problem can be, and is being, contained. To
consolidate this progress, it will take a concerted effort at every stage of the drug trade: more
effective prevention and treatment to reduce demand; greater technical assistance and regional cooperation
to stop trafficking; and comprehensive national drug control plans including law
enforcement and social and economic development in order to reduce supply.
Minor annual fluctuations in coca crop surveys are a useful indicator of trends. But the real test is
the long-term commitment of societies - and not just governments - to tackle the root causes of
drug supply and demand for the sake of a safer and healthier world.
Abstract: Freedom House welcomes the vote by the United Nations General Assembly to elect Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the two open seats for Eastern European States in yesterday's election to the UN Human Rights Council. Belarus, the third candidate for the East Europe vacancies, was defeated in a tight race following a vigorous campaign by numerous human rights organizations and countries opposed to the candidacy of a country with one of the world's most abysmal human rights records.
Abstract: Three years ago, the Council on Foreign Relations launched a commission to examine U.S. policy in the Andean region and the Colombian conflict. The result, Andes 2020: A New Strategy for the Challenges of Colombia and the Region, outlined a comprehensive new regional policy designed to move toward a better balance of "guns versus butter." Unfortunately, violence continues to plague the region to this day, most recently in Bolivia, where the controversial actions of President Evo Morales and the organized opposition have increased polarization and the likelihood of sustained social unrest. This new Council Special Report, sponsored by the Council's Center for Preventive Action, addresses the ongoing social, political, and economic challenges underway in Bolivia and presents a clear set of recommendations for the U.S. government. Bolivia on the Brink, written by Eduardo A. Gamarra, professor and director, Latin American and Caribbean Center, Florida International University, argues that with ethnic, regional, and political tensions in Bolivia on the rise, Washington's current "wait and see" approach to the Morales government is no longer adequate. Instead, Gamarra encourages the U.S.government to redirect its policy toward Bolivia with an emphasis on preservation of democratic process and conflict prevention. In order to do so, the report recommends the use of more carrot than stick in the near term, encouraging Washington to continue to work to develop relations with both the Bolivian government and opposition. Gamarra argues that excluding Bolivia from critical U.S. benefits such as trade, military training, and development assistance would only push the Morales government closer to Cuba and Venezuela, feed anti-American sentiment in the region, and increase the likelihood of sociopolitical turmoil. Calling U.S. leverage too limited to unilaterally influence the direction of the Bolivian government, the report also urges Washington to work with regional states to persuade all Bolivian parties to work within the democratic system to address the nation's many challenges. The result is a valuable contribution to any consideration of U.S. policy in the region, one that merits attention from regional s#pecialists and foreign policy generalists alike.