The European Union (EU) today delivered 30 vehicles to the Bolivian force in charge of the destruction of illegal coca leaf crops, a plant used to manufacture cocaine, within the support of that bloc to fight against drug trafficking in the South American country.
The delivery of the vehicles was made during the act of beginning of activities corresponding to this management of the Operational Strategic Command (CEO), made up of the military and police, which was attended by the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, and the head of the delegation of the EU in Bolivia, the Spanish León de la Torre.
In the event, held in the town of Chimoré, in the central area of the tropic of Cochabamba, Ambassador De la Torre stressed that it is an act "that symbolizes the joint work" between Bolivia and the European bloc "for years."
"In the face of an increasingly daring and better structured crime, the law enforcement agencies must also refine their intervention strategies to provide innovative responses, which is a collective challenge and therefore deserves a joint effort," he said.
The diplomat expressed his confidence that the 30 trucks delivered today, added to other 25 trucks and high-tech equipment endowed last week with the Bolivian anti-drug force, will serve "to reinforce operations to fight drug trafficking" in this country.
In turn, President Morales highlighted the help without conditions or "blackmail" offered by the EU to Bolivia and ratified that the fight against narcotics in his country is better since he has "liberated" from US "domination".
Morales accuses the United States of using the fight against drug trafficking for geopolitical purposes and has assured several times that anti-drug plans in his country work better since his decision to expel the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2008. U.S.
The coca leaf is enshrined in the Constitution of Bolivia for its traditional, medicinal and cultural uses, but a part of the production is diverted to drug trafficking to manufacture cocaine.
Bolivia has since 2017 a law that raised the legal crop area of the plant from 12,000 to 22,000 hectares.
The area under cultivation in the country increased by 6% between 2016 and 2017, from 23,100 to 24,500 hectares, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In 2018, the country managed to eliminate 11,173 illegal hectares of coca leaves.
The Minister of Government (Interior), Carlos Romero, stressed that last year he left the "stick high" in terms of the results of destruction of illegal coca crops.
Therefore, he urged the force responsible for this work to eradicate this 2019 "even if it is one hectare more than what has been eradicated last year."