In 2008, Bolivian President Evo Morales kicked out the US ambassador and the DEA. Since then, reports HuffPo, Bolivia, a traditional coca-growing region, “has … managed to reduce coca leaf cultivation, especially over the past five years. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, total production of dried coca leaf fell 11 percent from 2013 to 2014, and has fallen by an average of nearly 10 percent each year since 2011.”
Bolivia now has the “lowest coca crop in the region”, according to a non-profit NGO focusing on coca-growing, while US allies Colombia and Peru have the highest. “Colombia … according to the United Nations, [has] seen a significant increase in coca cultivation over the past year…”
Morales said he “could mention many countries in the world where there is this [drug] problem and how it has grown with U.S. presence,” referring to places like US-occupied Afghanistan, where opium cultivation has risen dramatically over the past several years.
HuffPo further notes that under Morales, Bolivia’s economy has boomed and extreme poverty has plummeted, most likely “because of his refusal to follow the path” desired by the US.
This mirrors the trend in the region generally, of which The Guardian reports: “the US lost most of its influence in Latin America over the past 15 years, and the region has done quite well, with a sharp reduction in poverty for the first time in decades . The Washington-based International Monetary Fund has also lost most of its influence over the middle-income countries of the world, and these have also done remarkably better in the 2000s.”
Since losing control over Bolivia due to mass protests in 2006 followed by elections, the US has pursued its traditional role of democracy deterrence, taking efforts to “undermine” Morales’s leadership.
Also see: America’s Colombian “Drug War” Herbicide Linked to Cancer as US Growers/Dealers Continue to Push World’s Most Lethal Drug
Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Contact on Twitter.