Pregunta parlamentaria de Marco Cappato (NI) a la Comisión y al Consejo y respuesta del Sr. Patten en nombre de la Comisión




Preguntas parlamentarias
PREGUNTA ESCRITA P-0215/03 y P-0220/03
de Marco Cappato (NI) a la Comisión y al Consejo
(23 de enero de 2003)

Asunto: Escalada de violencia relacionada con las drogas en Bolivia


La comunidad internacional debería ser particularmente consciente de la situación en Bolivia con respecto a las manifestaciones de los grupos indígenas que reivindican el empleo de productos tradicionales como la hoja de coca (estrictamente regulado en la actualidad por el Gobierno boliviano). De hecho, durante los últimos días se han producido diferentes enfrentamientos entre la Policía, el Ejército y los manifestantes, en particular agricultores, que protestaban contra la erradicación de su cultivo tradicional. Los corresponsales de prensa bolivianos indican que la escalada de violencia se ha saldado al menos con 17 muertes, docenas de heridos y cientos de detenidos.

¿Es consciente la Comisión de la naturaleza de tal escalada del conflicto entre el Gobierno boliviano y los grupos indígenas debido a la erradicación de la coca? ¿Qué medidas aplica o proyecta aplicar la Comisión para ayudar a las autoridades bolivianas a erradicar ese cultivo?

¿No considera la Comisión que ha llegado el momento de afrontar los errores y las desastrosas consecuencias que la prohibición genera tanto en los países productores como en los consumidores e iniciar un proceso de revisión de los tres convenios internacionales sobre sustancias narcóticas y psicotrópicas en la próxima reunión ministerial de la Comisión de las Naciones Unidas para los Narcóticos de las NN.UU. prevista para los días 16 y 17 de abril de 2003, a fin de promover un enfoque pragmático y más eficaz en materia de drogas?

P-0215/03EN
Answer given by Mr Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(24 February 2003)


The Commission has been monitoring closely the escalation in the confrontation between the Government of Bolivia and coca producers and other social sectors and noted with concern the incidents of violence associated with the road blocks which have been erected since 13 January 2003. The Commission is pleased to note that an agreement reached between Evo Morales and President Sánchez de Lozada on 26 January 2003 appears to have scaled down the confrontation and enabled the two sides to engage in a dialogue, including on the Government’s coca eradication policy and drug control enforcement practices.

On the basis of the principle of co-responsibility, the Commission has been supporting alternative development projects in Bolivia in line with the priorities for cooperation identified in its Country Strategy Paper. Three projects worth a total of € 30 million are currently underway with a fourth for € 13 million likely to be approved during 2003.

The approach adopted by the Commission starts from the fact that most of the people working in illegal coca plantations have left behind, temporary or permanently, poor living conditions and depressed local economies in the mining communities of the western Highlands and the high valleys of the Cochabamba region. Since the income which can be generated by growing coca is much higher than that which can be earned by working in the mining areas or by growing legal crops, it is essential to give farmers access to viable alternative sources of income.

The Commission is funding and plans to fund activities in the coca-producing areas of Chapare and Los Yungas which will create sustainable agricultural and other income-generating activities to encourage coca producers to give up growing coca. It is also providing local infrastructure such as health centres and schools. The Commission is also seeking to improve living conditions and support economic development in the labour-expulsion zones of the Highlands to reduce the pressures of extreme poverty which stimulate the migration of workers to the coca-producing areas. The Commission works with local authorities and has a dialogue with coca farmers, and its projects seen well received by the population.

The Commission is an active Permanent Observer of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), where it has defended a balanced approach between prevention and treatment and the fight against production and trafficking. Alternative development projects are an illustration of the latter by providing alternative livelihoods, they seek to decrease the dependence of farmers on drug cultivation.

There are no plans for the next session of the CND to engage in a process of revising the three United Nations Conventions. This matter has not been raised by Member States nor by the Commission in the periodic discussions of Union drug policy.