The Bush administration sees disturbing trends in Bolivia’s dealings with efforts to combat illicit drugs, reports the Associated Press. The White House yesterday released the annual government list of major drug-transit or drug-producing countries. The list remained unchanged from a year ago, with 20 nations cited: Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.
The report singled out Bolivia, the world’s third-largest producer of cocaine. ”Despite increased drug interdiction, Bolivia has undertaken policies that have allowed the expansion of coca cultivation and have significantly curtailed eradication,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said. The Bolivian government has focused almost solely on interdiction, without a focus on eradication and the development of alternative crops, the report said. A Bolivian government spokesman said the country expects to meet the 5,000-hectare U.S. target for coca eradication this year. Thus far in 2006, some 3,600 hectares have been eradicated.