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Wednesday, June 22, 2005
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: UN warns of Bolivian coca danger

A senior official said the 17% increase in the past year was caused by farmers planting coca in more remote places.

[...]

The UNODC’s annual survey showed a 3% increase in cultivation of the crop in the three Andean countries, which are the centre of global cocaine production.

Bolivia is the world’s third largest coca grower.

Production rose by 14% in Peru, but cultivation fell by 7% in Colombia, which is the biggest grower in the world.

This is precisely as one would expect: it is the Balloon Effect in operation: squeeze one part of the region and the cultivation bulges out somewhere else-like squeezing a balloon and having the air move around.

As crops are eradicated in Colombia, cultivation will simply shift back to Peru and Bolivia.

Of the things that are impossible in this world, eliminating enough coca plants to significantly affect the price and supply of cocaine is one of them. A new policy paradigm needs to be developed.

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