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.
Transnational organized crime groups steal quality cars in Brazil and are able to trade them in Bolivia for 10 kilograms of cocaine, according to security officials.
The network of car thieves is considered to be a major source of funding for organized crime groups in Bolivia.
(Price of cocaine worldwide.)
Source: Insight Crime, “Bolivia plans crackdown on cars-for-cocaine trade,” Christian Science Monitor, October 23, 2012.
Officials in Bolivia believe that up to 92 percent of the cocaine produced in the country is trafficked to Brazil.
Bolivia is third in the world in cocaine production, after Peru and Colombia.
Source: Associated Press, “Brazil deploys close to 9,000 troops along its borders in major anti-crime operation,” Washington Post, August 7, 2012.
In 2012, citizens of Brazil used the second most cocaine in the world, trailing only the United States in cocaine abuse.
80 percent of the cocaine abused in Brazil was trafficked in from Bolivia.
Source: Brian Winter, “Brazil’s “gringo” problem: its borders,” Reuters, April 13, 2012.
In 2011, around 2,400 people from foreign countries were arrested for crimes in Chile. 70 percent of those arrested were for drug smuggling activities.
48 percent of the drug arrests were of people from Bolivia, 34 percent from Peru, and 8 percent of the foreign nationals were from Argentina.
In 2011, up to 5 percent of the jail population in Chile were of foreign nationals.
Source: Struan Campbell Gray, “Drug trafficking is the main crime of foreign nationals in Chile,” Santiago Times, February 13, 2012.
According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, Bolivia produced 195 metric tons of cocaine in 2009 and Peru produced 225 metric tons of cocaine in 2009.
Source: Heather Walsh, “Colombia Cocaine Output Fell Last Year Amid Spraying, U.S. Drug Czar Says,” Bloomberg, December 9, 2010.
In 2009, 45.4 percent of coca was from Peru, 39.3 from Colombia and 15.3 percent from Bolivia.
119,000 metric tons of coca leaf was from Peru, with Colombia producing 103,000 metric tons.
For processed cocaine, Colombia still lead the world in terms of production in 2009 with 410 tons.
Source: AFP, “Peru becomes the world’s leading coca producer: UN,” Google News, June 22, 2010.