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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
November 3, 1999

Bolivia's Coca Reduction Efforts

We have received the preliminary results of the 1999 Bolivia coca cultivation survey and the results are impressive. As of October 1, Bolivia achieved a net coca reduction of 35% overall, with 55% of eradication carried out in the Chapare, Bolivia's principal coca-growing region. This reduces the amount of potential cocaine production to 90 metric tons -- down from a potential of 150 metric tons in 1998. With results from October, November and December still to come, the final statistics for 1999 will be even more promising.

The Department of State congratulates the Bolivian Government for its efforts on the drug front. The Banzer Administration took ownership of the drug production problem in Bolivia in 1997 and promised to rid Bolivia of illegal drug production by 2002. Bolivia is well on the way to reaching this goal on schedule. This is also a major foreign policy success for the United States, demonstrating that drug eradication programs in source countries can succeed through close international collaboration against illegal producers, criminals and traffickers.

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