Criminal justice agencies in Bolivia recorded 35 human trafficking cases back in 2005. In 2012, the number of trafficking cases reported was 456.
In 2013, law enforcement reported 363 human trafficking cases across Bolivia, an increase of over 10 times from 2005.
Despite the number of cases handled by the criminal justice system, reports claim that there has not been a single prosecution conviction for human trafficking crimes.
Most of the victims in Bolivia are between the ages of 12 to 24. The men who are trafficked are used in forced labor situations, while the women are forced to work as prostitutes. The victims are trafficked to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Spain.
Source: Mimi Yagoub, “Human Trafficking Reports in Bolivia Rise 900% in 9 Years,” Insight Crime, April 4, 2014.
A study released by the Government of Bolivia found that 58 percent of the coca that is cultivated in the country is used for traditional purposes.
The remaining 32 percent of coca is devoted to cocaine production.
In total, 25,300 hectares of coca was cultivated across Bolivia in 2012.
Bolivia is ranked third behind Peru and Colombia in terms of cocaine production worldwide. Over 40,000 people in the country depend on coca cultivation for income. The crop contributes to $332 Million to Bolivia’s economy.
(Cocaine prices by country.)
Source: Associated Press, “Bolivia says most of its coca for traditional uses,” San Jose Mercury News, November 13, 2013.
The PCC (First Command of the Capital), a criminal organization in Brazil, makes $60 Million a year through drug trafficking and other racketeering activities.
Based on data collected from various criminal justice programs, a report found that the crime syndicate has over 11,000 members with 6,000 in prison. The leaders of the group operate out of a Sao Paulo prison and conducts its activities in 22 of the 26 states of Brazil. Its operations has also expanded to neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay.
(What is racketeering? Examples from worldwide cases here.)
Source: AFP, “Brazil’s top prison gang runs $60 million crime trade,” Google News, October 12, 2013.
In the first seven months of 2013, security agencies in Bolivia reported 243 cases of human trafficking. Most of the trafficking victims were women and children.
Officials stated that most of the victims were being trafficked to Brazil.
(Price of human trafficking victims when sold on the black market.)
Source: “Over 240 Human Trafficking Cases In Bolivia In First Seven Months,” Bernama, September 23, 2013.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that the amount of cocaine produced in the Andes region in 2012 was down 10 percent from the previous year.
Bolivia produced 155 metric tons of pure cocaine in 2012, down 18 percent from 2011.
Colombia produced 175 metric tons, down 7.9 percent from the previous year.
Peru produced 290 metric tons, down 4.9 percent from the year before.
In the span of 10 years, the amount of cocaine produced in the region declined by 41 percent.
The three countries are the largest producers of cocaine in the world, with the United States being the largest consumers of cocaine worldwide.
Source: Eric Martin, “Cocaine Output in Andes Region Falls 10% Amid Eradication Effort,” Bloomberg, July 9, 2013.
An estimated 300,000 illegal immigrants from Bolivia and Paraguay and 45,000 from Peru live in the Sao Paulo area of Brazil.
Security officials in Brazil report that many of the illegal immigrants in the country use the services of human smugglers to enter the country and then fall victim to labor traffickers.
Police highlighted a case of 80 laborers from Bangladesh were rescued from forced-labor conditions in Brazil. The 80 migrants paid a human smuggler $10,000 to be smuggled from Bangladesh to Brazil.
(More human smuggling fees and prices.)
Official data from criminal justice programs in Brazil state that around 44,000 people have been rescued from forced labor conditions in Brazil between 1995 and 2013.
Source: Astrid Prange, “Growth makes Brazil a hub for human trafficking,” Deutsche Welle, June 4, 2013.
In 2013, security officials in Bolivia reported on an increase in homicides and targeted assassinations in the country. Officials attribute the rise in contract killings due to increase drug trafficking by organized crime syndicates. Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of coca.
The New York Times reported that one man and his two sons paid a hitman $15,000 to kill his ex-wife. In a separate incident, a wife paid $4,000 to have her husband killed by a professional assassin.
In the first 4 months of 2013, there were 16 killings in Bolivia that appear to have been targeted killings.
Source: William Neuman, “Video of Killing Crystallizes Bolivian Anger Over Crime,” New York Times, May 2, 2013.
During a span of five years, over 60,000 animals from 119 different species were estimated to have been smuggled out of Bolivia.
Wildlife protection officials in the country estimate that wildlife trafficking is a multi-million dollar industry in the country.
Source: Miriam Wells, “Bolivia Seizes Thousands Of Contraband Caimans,” Insight Crime, April 22, 2013.
Drug traffickers at the border of Brazil pay $50 per kilogram of cocaine that is being smuggled into the country from Bolivia. The cocaine is then moved further inland and sold for $250 per kilogram. Then, traffickers finally sell the kilogram of cocaine for $6,000 in major Brazilian cities such as Sao Paulo.
(See the price of cocaine worldwide.)
Source: Juan Forero, “Brazil tries to fight cocaine trafficking at huge, porous borders,” Washington Post, January 24, 2013.
Anti-Narcotics officials in Bolivia reported that 37 cocaine processing labs were discovered within the country and 36 tons of cocaine was seized by police during 2012. Most of the cocaine seized in the country was smuggled from Peru.
In addition to the labs, law enforcement agencies seized 10 planes and destroyed 10 landing strips that were being used to trafficking cocaine.
(See prices of cocaine worldwide.)
Source: Jack Davis, “Bolivia Seized 10 Narco Planes in 2012,” Insight Crime, December 20, 2012.