Report says Morales gov’t failing to combat narcoticsSunday, September 15, 2013
Bolivia defends US drug-fight slur
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 Cáceres, 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 Cáceres, referring to the Bolivia inclusion in the list of countries that allegedly failed in the fight against drugs.
“Cáceres 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 theWhite 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 Télam