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International - South America

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  1. (Prevalence of Cocaine Use in South America) "The annual prevalence of cocaine use in South America (1.3 per cent of the adult population) is comparable to levels in North America, while it remains much higher than the global average in Central America (0.6 per cent) and the Caribbean (0.7 per cent).
    "Cocaine use has increased significantly in Brazil, Costa Rica and, to lesser extent, Peru while no change in its use was reported in Argentina. The use of cannabis in South America is higher (5.7 per cent) than the global average, but lower in Central America and Caribbean (2.6 and 2.8 per cent respectively). In South America and Central America the use of opioids (0.3 and 0.2 per cent, respectively) and Ecstasy (0.1 per cent each) also remain well below the global average. While opiates use remains low, countries such as Colombia report that heroin use is becoming increasingly common among certain age groups and socio-economic classes.30"

    UNODC, World Drug Report 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.XI.6), pp. 13-14.

  2. (Legal Coca Production) "Coca is regarded as a sacred leaf by some of the indigenous American communities of the Andes and Amazon basin, where it has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years (Mortimer, 1974). As a consequence, the legal status of coca is sometimes ambiguous in South America, complicating efforts to control cocaine production. Bolivian and Peruvian laws allow the growing of some coca in order to supply long-standing, licit, local consumer markets for coca leaves (‘chewing’) and derived products, mostly coca tea, in both countries. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has recently called for the suppression of these legal coca markets under Article 49, 2e, of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which requires the elimination of coca consumption ‘within twenty-five years of the coming into force of this convention’ (INCB, 2008a). Additionally, some coca is grown legally in Peru and Bolivia for processing into decocainised flavouring agents that are sold to international manufacturers of soft drinks under Article 27 of the 1961 Single Convention. Finally, the ‘chewing’ of coca leaves and the drinking of coca tea appears to be tolerated for some communities or in some regions in a number of South American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador."

    EMCDDA and Europol, "Cocaine: A European Union perspective in the global context" (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2010), pp. 9-10.

  3. (History of Coca) "Archaeological evidence has confirmed that the coca leaf has been cultivated and used by the indigenous people of the Andes region for at least 4,000-5,000 years while other estimates put this as far back as 20,000 years. By the time of the Spanish colonial conquest, coca use extended all the way from what is today Costa Rica and Venezuela, through the Brazilian Amazon (coca’s place of origin) and on down to Paraguay, northern Argentina and Chile."

    Forsberg, Alan, "The Wonders of the Coca Leaf," Accion Andina (Cochabamba, Bolivia: January 2011), p. 1.

  4. (US Counternarcotics Strategies in Andean Countries) "Although no single comprehensive U.S. counternarcotics strategy exists for the Andean region, mission strategic resource plans (MSRPs) for each of the countries in the region delineate the strategic approaches guiding U.S. counternarcotics assistance. According to State officials, the MSRPs incorporate high-level guidance from ONDCP’s annual National Drug Control Strategy, which also includes specific policy guidance for the Western Hemisphere. This strategy presents a broad framework for reducing illicit drug use and its harmful effects on the United States. Included in the strategy is a chapter on international partnerships focused on reducing the supply of illicit drugs in the United States via U.S. cooperative efforts, such as those with Colombia and Peru, the CBSI [Caribbean Basin Security Initiative] countries, and the CARSI [Central American Regional Security Initiative] countries, and initiatives to combat trafficking through transit countries such as Ecuador.
    "The MSRPs for the Andean countries, developed by interagency teams at U.S. embassies in consultation with host country governments, summarize conditions in each country, specify U.S. foreign assistance goals, and describe in general terms the assistance planned to further those goals.7"

    "Counternarcotics Assistance: U.S. Agencies Have Allotted Billions in Andean Countries, but DOD Should Improve Its Reporting of Results" (Government Accountability Office: Washington, DC, July 2012), GAO-12-824, p. 7.

  5. (US Counternarcotics Assistance to Andean Countries) "State, USAID, DOD, and DEA allotted a combined estimated total of nearly $5.2 billion in counternarcotics assistance to Andean countries in fiscal years 2006-2011. Of this amount, about $366 million (7 percent) was allotted for Bolivia; $3.92 billion (76 percent) for Colombia; $233 million (5 percent) for Ecuador; $659 million (13 percent) for Peru; and $7 million (less than 1 percent) for Venezuela (see fig. 2)."

    "Counternarcotics Assistance: U.S. Agencies Have Allotted Billions in Andean Countries, but DOD Should Improve Its Reporting of Results" (Government Accountability Office: Washington, DC, July 2012), GAO-12-824, p. 10.

  6. (Counternarcotics Assistance to Andean Countries, by Agency) "Of the agencies’ combined estimated assistance in fiscal years 2006 through 2011, State provided about $3 billion (60 percent), USAID provided $1 billion (21 percent), DOD provided $956 million (19 percent), and DEA provided $25 million (less than 1 percent). As figure 4 shows, each agency’s allotments decreased during this time period. State’s allotments for counternarcotics assistance declined the most, dropping by about 60 percent from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2011. According to agency officials, this decline in funding for counternarcotics assistance could be attributed to factors such as the ongoing nationalization of U.S. counternarcotics programs and assets in Colombia as well as a general reduction in available resources across the federal government in recent fiscal years.10"

    "Counternarcotics Assistance: U.S. Agencies Have Allotted Billions in Andean Countries, but DOD Should Improve Its Reporting of Results" (Government Accountability Office: Washington, DC, July 2012), GAO-12-824, p. 13.

  7. (Unreliable Information on Counternarcotics Funding to Andean Countries) "Given the strategic importance of reducing drug production and trafficking in the Andean countries—the source of more than 95 percent of the cocaine seized in the United States and much of the heroin available east of the Mississippi River—accurate and reliable information on the results of this assistance is essential. State, USAID, and DEA have reported the required information, with attestations of its reliability, regarding the combined $4 billion in assistance that they provided in fiscal years 2006 through 2011. However, lacking attestations by DOD’s IG, ONDCP has minimal assurance of the reliability of DOD’s reporting on its estimated $956 million in counternarcotics assistance in those years. Without reliable information, ONDCP may be limited in its ability to carry out its responsibility for coordinating and overseeing implementation of the policies, goals, objectives, and priorities established by the national drug control program and to report accurately to Congress on counternarcotics assistance provided by agencies under ONDCP’s purview. Moreover, without reliable information, Congress and other decision makers, including ONDCP, may lack information that is essential to assessing progress toward the U.S. goal of curtailing illicit drug consumption in America, making decisions on the allocation of resources, and conducting effective oversight."

    "Counternarcotics Assistance: U.S. Agencies Have Allotted Billions in Andean Countries, but DOD Should Improve Its Reporting of Results" (Government Accountability Office: Washington, DC, July 2012), GAO-12-824, p. 20.

  8. (Air Bridge Denial Program) "The Air Bridge Denial Program derives its name from its goal: to deny the South American drug network the “air bridge” used to transfer semi-refined cocaine from growing areas in rural Peru, Bolivia and Colombia to processing plants in Colombia and onward to destination countries. While this transportation network also includes land and water routes, its lifeblood is aerial transportation.4 The denial of this air bridge, initially through the interdiction of suspect planes on the ground and later through the use of weapons against aircraft in flight, is seen as a key component of the overall success of U.S. counter-drug operations. However, while this component has had a long and successful history, it has been controversial."

    Huskisson, Major Darren C., "The Air Bridge Denial Program and the Shootdown of Civil Aircraft under International Law," Air Force Law Review (Maxwell AFB, Alabama: 2005) Vol. 56, pp. 111-112.