Pubdate: Sun, 15 Sep 2013
Source: Buenos Aires Herald (Argentina)
Copyright: 2013 S.A. The Buenos Aires Herald Ltd.

Report Says Morales Gov't Failing to Combat Narcotics


LA PAZ - The Bolivian government yesterday rejected a drug report 
that the White House released, stating that the US government "aims 
to undermine" the achievements of the country in its fight against narcotics.

The Vice-Minister of Social Defence and Controlled Substances, Felipe 
Caceres, said yesterday that his country "does not recognize the 
authority of the US Government to certify or decertify the war on 
drugs" in Bolivia and assured that Evo Morales' government "only 
supports the UN anti-drug report."

"The Bolivian government does not recognize under any circumstances 
the US as an authority to certify or decertify the fight against 
drugs, the only internationally accredited body is the UN whose 
report was recently met," said Caceres, referring to the Bolivia 
inclusion in the list of countries that allegedly failed in the fight 
against drugs.

"Caceres criticized the Barack Obama's government, which say 
Bolivia's fight against drug has failed whereas the international 
community recognizes Bolivia's efforts in this regard.

"A memorandum posted on the White House website, signed by President 
Obama, puts Bolivia, along with Venezuela and Myanmar, among the list 
of nations that "manifestly failed" in fulfilling commitments to 
combatting drugs.

The report, quoted by the daily newspaper El Deber says the renewal 
of the US anti-drug aid for Myanmar and Venezuela "is vital to the 
national interests of the United States." The report does not mention 
Bolivia in this section.

"President Obama makes that statement even though only two months ago 
the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the White House 
verified that the total cocaine production in Bolivia has fallen by 
18 percent since 2011," said the Bolivian government in a statement yesterday.

The report stated that eradication "success" and interdiction of 
cocaine in the country have been registered by the European Union and 
the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"The United States seeks to undermine that the government of 
President Evo Morales has achieved these things with dignity, 
sovereignty and social control without any type of interference from 
abroad," said the official statement.

Bolivia and the United States have not shared ambassadors since 
September 2008, when Morales expelled Washington's representative 
Philip Goldberg. A similar measure, in return, was then applied to La 
Paz's envoy Gustavo Guzman.

In 2008, Morales expelled the US Drug Enforcement Agency and in May 
announced the departure of international cooperation USAID official. 
In June the Office Narcotics US embassy (NAS) announced the end of cooperation.

The US anti-drug aid to Bolivia was reduced from 50 to five million 
dollars from 2011 to this year, according to official data.

Herald with Telam
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom