(above) Bolivian coca (Photot: Columbia News)

Bolivian coca increasingly popular among Colombian drug traffickers
April 5, 2009 - ColombiaReports

Colombia news - Bolivian coca

Colombian drug traffickers are increasingly involved in the cultivation of coca and production of coca paste in Bolivia, media from that country reported Sunday.

According to several sources consulted by Bolivian newspaper El Razón, the Bolivian coca is becoming increasingly popular among the mafia, because of its extraordinary quality. Several anonymous police sources told the newspaper that large quantities of coca and coca paste are smuggled to Colombia to then be processed and shipped to the United States and Europe where most cocaine is consumed.

The lack of presence of the DEA, the U.S. drug enforcement administration, in Bolivia would make the production and smuggling of the cocaine easier, because its routes are difficult to track.

Colombian drug traffickers allegedly are training their Bolivian colleagues in processing the coca leaves to coca paste in a way that is more efficient, cheaper and faster. The Colombians then focus on the trafficking -- a more profitable part of the drug trade -- and leave the production to the Bolivians, the newspaper says.

Bolivian anti-narcotics police dismantled two Colombian-style coca factories in Bolivia this year already.

The production of coca inside Colombia has become more difficult over the years, because of the continuous pressure of U.S. and Colombian authorities on the drug trade and the attempts to massively exterminate coca crops.