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Colombia and Bolivia to coordinate fight against organized crime

posted by Jet van Dijck
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Colombia’s minister of foreign affairs and her Bolivian counterpart signed an agreement on security and defense with an emphasis on transnational organized crime, government officials reported Tuesday.

It will coordinate the two countries’ policies on risk prevention and the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime.

“We want to support Bolivia, we have the experience to prevent the cartels from coming to this country and to prevent them from suffering from the terrible scourge that Colombia has suffered from,” said Colombia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin.

According to Bolivia’s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, the agreement “strengthens the relations between both countries, which face common challenges, and will allow the two countries to coordinate measures to fight organized crime.

Bolivia ranks third in the world in the production of coca and cocaine after Colombia and Peru, according to the 2011 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

According to the report, clandestine drug producers in Bolivia have been benefiting from information-sharing with Colombian producers and traffickers since about 2007. Laboratories using the Colombian method are apparently more efficient in extracting cocaine from coca leaves.

The cooperation agreement was signed on June 5 at the 42nd Assembly of the Organization of the American States.

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