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Viewing cable 06LAPAZ3449, REACTIONS TO BOLIVIA'S NEW COCA STRATEGY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06LAPAZ3449 2006-12-21 19:07 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #3449/01 3551928
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211928Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1876
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6409
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0032
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0105
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3733
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7607
RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA 0025
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0704
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0017
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4855
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2105
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0199
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN 0015
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0080
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2179
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0086
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA 0003
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0101
RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0105
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3236
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4301
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 0226
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0106
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE 0058
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4742
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA 0007
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0276
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9329
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0153
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN 0010
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0732
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0007
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0227
RUEHVL/AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 0007
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0066
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0017
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHLP/DEA LA PAZ DEC USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 003449 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2016 
TAGS: ECON PGOV PREL SNAR BL
SUBJECT: REACTIONS TO BOLIVIA'S NEW COCA STRATEGY 

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Krishna Urs 
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

------- 
Summary 
------- 

1. (C) On December 20, the DCM met with European 
Union chief of mission Ambassador Andrew Standley and 
United Nations representative Jose Manuel Martinez Morales 
to discuss reactions to the GOB's new coca strategy which 
was announced at a December 18 ceremony in the Chapare. 
Poloff also attended as notetaker. The GOB's plan includes 
an increase of 8,000 hectares of coca cultivation above the 
12,000 currently allowed under Bolivian law. The United 
Nations and European Union representatives admitted that 
their respective organizations lacked a clearly defined 
response to the GOB's announced plan. Ambassador Standley 
said that EU member countries were all concerned with the 
GOB's plan and that they preferred a discreet response 
rather than a public rebuke. The DCM explained that 
Bolivian anti-narcotics review in March rested on a 
number of factors but that the GOB's 2007 strategy, if 
implemented, could complicate the review. The DCM 
repeatedly stressed the need for the international 
community to have a united and clear response to the GOB's 
new plan; his peers concurred and discussed convening a 
mini-Dublin group meeting in early January 2007. 
End Summary. 

---------- 
Background 
---------- 

2. (C) At a December 18 ceremony in the Chapare President 
Morales unveiled the GOB's 2007 counter narcotics strategy. 
The cornerstone of the strategy is the GOB's "commitment to 
containing" coca cultivation at 20,000 hectares, an 
increase from the 12,000 allowed under Bolivian law. 
Morales also committed to improving drug consumption 
prevention programs, strengthening interdiction, promoting 
the industrialization of coca products, and changing 
international conventions to decriminalize coca leaf. 

---------------------------------------- 
United Nations & European Union Position 
---------------------------------------- 

3. (C) The United Nations and European Union 
representatives admitted that their respective organ- 
izations lacked a clearly defined response to the GOB's 
announced plan. Mr. Martinez opened with the point, and 
all parties agreed, that the GOB's plan was a violation of 
both international conventions (1961 Single Convention on 
Narcotic Drugs) and Bolivia's own narcotics law (known as 
law 1008). Ambassador Standley said that EU member 
countries were all concerned with the GOB's plan and that 
they preferred a discreet response rather than a public 
rebuke. Standley stated his personal opinion that the GOB 
will never find widespread legal (industrial) uses for 
Bolivia's excess coca. Mr. Standley noted that the GOB 
continues to stall EU efforts to perform a study on the 
size of Bolivia's licit coca market. He mentioned that he 
recently met with Pablo Solon, Bolivia's Ambassador at 
large for integration and trade issues, who assured him 
the GOB was still interested in the study and that it 
would move forward on it in January. Standley was most 
interested in hearing how the United States was planning 
to respond to the GOB's plan and how it would impact 
Bolivia's narcotics certification in March 2007. 

---------------- 
DCM Urs' Remarks 
---------------- 

4. (C) The DCM explained that Embassy La Paz had been 
warned that the GOB was planning a change in licit coca 
growing targets and that the Ambassador had expressed the 
USG's concern over the GOB's plan prior to its 
announcement. The DCM concurred that strong public 
denunciations of the GOB's plan would be counter- 
productive. The DCM explained that the USG was prepared 
to sign its annual letter of agreement with the GOB on 
counter narcotics that same day and would not abandon its 
anti-drug efforts at this time. However, he emphasized 
that USG officials will state both privately and publicly 
that that the GOB's new strategy is a step backwards and 
seems to violate international commitments. 

5. (C) The DCM explained that White House review of 
Bolivian counter-narcotic efforts in March rested on a 
number of factors but that the GOB's 2007 strategy if 
implemented would seriously complicate the review. He 
explained that the USG position would push for Bolivia to 
move forward on the EU's proposed coca study. In response 
to this potential requirement, Mr. Martinez observed, 
with a hint of sarcasm, that the GOB was likely to 
announce its plan to begin the study on February 28, 
2007. 

6. (C) The DCM repeatedly stressed the need for the 
international community to have a united and clear response 
to the GOB's new plan. The DCM suggested that a mini- 
Dublin group meeting be convened to develop a common 
position. Ambassador Standley and Mr. Martinez concurred 
with the DCM's suggestions, and the three agreed that 
January 8 or 9 would be a suitable date for the meeting. 
GOLDBERG