Introduction This paper is an analysis of Bolivia and the narcotics production and trafficking currently taking place in the country



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PMESII-PT OVERVIEW OF BOLIVIA


SGT SHEPARD, JOHN, D.
SUBMITTED TO MR. SALOMON JAMES
22 APRIL 2015

Introduction
This paper is an analysis of Bolivia and the narcotics production and trafficking currently taking place in the country. Using the operational variables of Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, Infrastructure, Physical Environment, and Time (PMESII-PT), I will illustrate how those variables pertain to the United States 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS).

Time

Bolivia gained independence from Spain on August 6, 1825 when Simón Bolivar, a Venezuelan military leader, previously defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Junín on August 6, 1824. The next major event that took place in the 20th century was the War of the Pacific, from 1879-1883. The war was between an allied Bolivia and Peru set against Chile, after Chile refused to pay a tax hike for a mining company working in Bolivia. After failed mediation attempts, Chilean armed forces occupied the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta and declared war on both Bolivia and Peru. Chilean forces defeated both Bolivia and Peru, with an end result of Chile acquiring the Peruvian territory of Terapacá and locking Bolivia in-land.

During the 21st century, Bolivia saw a number of historical events that included war, revolution, coups, counter coups, military rule, and assassination. From 1932 to 1935, the Chaco War was fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over control of the northern part of the oil-rich Gran Chaco region located on the eastern border of Bolivia and northwestern border of Paraguay. In the end, Paraguay took control of most of the region. In 1952, the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) started a revolt that overthrew the existing military junta and installed Paz Estenssoro as president. This social revolution was important because it, “temporarily abolished the army and replaced it with armed militias of Indians and tin miners; it extended universal suffrage to the illiterate masses, giving them genuine political power for the first time; and it implemented true land reform, breaking up huge estates and giving Indian peasants title to their own plots. The MNR also established itself within the unions and Indian communities, making it then the country’s premier civilian political force for decades.”1 After ten years of the MNR in power, another coup took place by the newly organized revolutionary army led by General René Barriento, forcing Estenssoro into exile. After Barrientos was killed in a helicopter crash in 1969, his vice-president was quickly overthrown by General Alfredo Ovando, leading to a period of military rule, along with coups and counter coups, until 1982. Furthermore, during the Barrientos presidency, well-known revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara was assassinated in Bolivia by a CIA trained counter-insurgency unit in 1967.2

In 2006, Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia, representing the MNR political party. He gained popularity with the indigenous population of Bolivia on the position of equal rights for the indigenous, regional autonomy for the departments, and the “legal production of coca leaf, Bolivia’s principal crop, and the one the United States is trying to eradicate.”3



Political

Bolivia is less than three times the size of Montana, with an area of 1,098,581 square kilometers, and borders Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru.4 The political boundaries within Bolivia are in the form of departments; Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosí, Santa Cruz, and Tarija. The capital of Bolivia is located in La Paz, while the largest city is Santa Cruz. Bolivia’s government is in the form of a democratic republic, much like the United States, however the presidential term is six years. The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, represents the Movement toward Socialism (MAS) political party, with a size of 3.1 million and an objective of a plurinational state based on autonomies of indigenous people. The other two major political parties are Plan Progress for Bolivia-National Convergence (PPB-CN) and National Unity Front (UN).5

Bolivian diplomatic relations with the U.S. is generally neutral to negative. In 2008, then U.S. President George W. Bush placed Bolivia on a counter narcotics blacklist stating that Bolivia “failed demonstrably”6 to meet commitments to combat the production and trafficking of illicit drugs, primarily cocaine. In 2013, President Morales “expelled the U.S. aid organization, the Agency for International Development, accusing it of seeking to undermine his government by infiltrating peasant unions and other groups…he offered no tangible evidence. There wasn’t much left to expel; the U.S. had cut foreign aid to Bolivia from $100 million in 2008—the year Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador and the DEA—to $28 million in 2012.”7 As President Obama stated in the 2015 NSS, “…we will prioritize efforts that address the top strategic risks to our interests: Significant security consequences associated with weak or failing states (including…transnational organized crime.),”8 it is apparent that a president who supports the cultivation of coca leaf, will not fully eliminate the transnational distribution of cocaine.

Economic

Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with unemployment at 7.3% (not including the indigenous rural areas, which are at a much higher percent) and 45% of the population below the poverty line.9 Bolivia’s income inequality is the highest in Latin America, including one of the highest in the world. The country ranks 108th out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index.10

Natural resources include natural gas, tin, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, and lithium. The main industry is natural gas, and just recently, the Brazilian oil company Petrobas signed a memorandum of understanding for future natural gas exploration in the Tarija region, with an estimated 4.9 trillion cubic feet of gas and $2.06 billion for investment.11 This could potentially be an enormous push for Bolivia’s economy, with a GDP of 5.8%, inflation of 5.4%, and an external debt of $8.073 billion.12

The economic activity in Bolivia includes $12.34 billion in exports; mainly natural gas, mineral ores, gold, tin, soybeans, and soybean products. Imports include machinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron, steel, and plastics at a cost of $9.513 billion. Bolivia’s trade partners include Brazil, China, Argentina, Peru, Japan, and the U.S. Bolivia does not officially trade with Chile because of ongoing border disputes from the Pacific War of 1879.13

Illegal economic activity in Bolivia consists of human trafficking, contraband smuggling, and the production and trafficking of cocaine. Bolivia is the world’s third largest cultivator and producer of cocaine, with an estimated 265 metric tons of pure cocaine.14 With regards to the 2015 NSS, as stated “We are expanding our collaboration across the Americas to support democratic consolidation…and countering transnational organized crime.”15 Earnings from cocaine distribution between Bolivia and Peru are estimated between $1 billion to $1.5 billion.16 In order for that amount of money to be earned, it can be said that cocaine is sold transnationally through organized crime.

Social

The population of Bolivia is a little over 10.5 million people. Bolivia’s educational opportunities are one of the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, which sequentially results in lack of access to family planning services resulting in a high fertility rate of three children per woman. Females and the indigenous population are more likely to be illiterate, with Bolivia’s literacy rate at 94.5%.17

The Mestizos account for Bolivia’s largest ethnic group, at 68% of the population. Following the mestizos, are the indigenous; 20%, white; 5%, chola; 2%, and black; 1%. The major religion is Roman Catholic at 76.8%, along with Evangelical/Pentecostal at 8.1%, and Protestant at 7.9%. The common languages in Bolivia are Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani. Major urban areas that account for 68.1% of the population includes Santa Cruz with a population of 2.032 million people, La Paz with a population of 1.8 million people, Cochabamba with a population of 1.2 million people, and Sucre with a population of 358,000 people.18

Criminal activity that takes place within Bolivia includes theft, fraud, kidnapping, assault, burglary, carjacking, and drug trafficking. Human rights violations include forced labor in areas such as domestic services, mining, ranching, agriculture and food processing. Human trafficking, with regards to forced labor and sex trafficking, to neighboring countries including the U.S. and Spain, is another major issue in the country.19 As stated in the 2015 NSS, “Strong and sustained American leadership is essential to a rules-based international order that promotes…human rights of all peoples.”20



Information

In Bolivia, broadcast and news media operates freely, with a large number of TV stations, newspapers, and radio stations. Some outlets are nationalized, while a large number are privatized. There are 1.103 million internet users,21 with the majority of those users located in major urban areas. For the most part, Bolivians receive daily news through the broadcast outlets of radio and newspaper.

Although Bolivian broadcast news media is considered free and without government influence, it is important to note that criticism of the government does not go unnoticed. In 2012, Bolivian Vice-President Álvaro Linera delivered a warning to hold people accountable that criticized President Morales on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Furthermore, President Morales’ supporters in Congress “threatened to pass legislation regulating social media.” In addition to threatening social media regulation, popular anti-Morales radio host Fernando Vidal was attacked in his radio studio. “Four masked men invaded Vidal’s Radio Popular as he was on the air interviewing a guest about alleged corruption in the customs police in that area…The attackers fired shots in the air, splashed gasoline on Vidal and a station employee and set them afire.” Vidal survived the attack; however, “Authorities do not seem to be in a hurry to uncover the motive or mastermind.”22 As stated in the 2015 NSS, “The United States is countering this trend by providing direct support for civil society and by advocating rollback of laws and regulations that undermine citizens’ rights. We are also supporting technologies that expand access to information, enable freedom of expression, and connect civil society groups in this fight around the world.”23

Physical Environment

Bolivia is one of two landlocked countries in Latin America, in addition to Paraguay. The climate is humid and tropical in the eastern lowlands, while cold and semiarid in the western highlands. The terrain includes the Andes Mountains with an Altiplano or highland plateau, hills, and the lowland plains of the Amazon Basin. The rainy season occurs from March to April, causing floods in the northeast. The two active volcanoes in Bolivia are located in the Andes Mountains on the border with Chile; Irruputuncu, which last erupted in 1995, and Olca-Paruma.24

Deforestation is a major environmental issue in Bolivia, due to the clearing of trees, meeting agriculture and timber demands. Soil erosion from deforestation and overgrazing, along with poor cultivation methods causes, poor ground stability. Water pollution from industrial waste poses a major issue because it has huge potential to affect potable water supplies.25 The most problematic environmental concern effecting Bolivia is climate change. Climate change has resulted in major population displacement and a decrease in agricultural production, specifically with the indigenous population. The indigenous people of Bolivia account for 62% of the population, and are “largely dependent on agriculture and therefore particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”26 As stated in the 2015 NSS, “…mobilizing the international community to meet the urgent challenges posed by climate change and infectious disease.”27

Infrastructure

Because Bolivia is a landlocked country, there are no active ports; however Bolivia does have port privileges with Argentina, Brazil, and Peru.28 Furthermore, the Bolivian government is in the works of creating an inland port on the Paraguay River which will give the country access the Atlantic Ocean, by means of Paraguay and Argentina.29 Most people in Bolivia commute by the inner-city bus systems. There are a vast number of roads in Bolivia, in total of 26,720 miles. However, only 1,016 miles of road are paved; predominantly in the major urban areas. There are

855 airports, with a total of 21 paved airports, and three major airports; again located in major urban areas.30

In regard to basic human needs, Bolivia’s infrastructure is lacking in clean drinking water, suitable sewage and garbage systems, irrigation, plumbing, and housing.31 The second and third order of effects from the lack of basic infrastructure results in major health issues. This causes a loss of potential income which in turn greatly affects the economy. As stated in the 2015 NSS, “We will continue to bolster the capacity of the U.N. and regional organizations to help resolve disputes, build resilience to crises and shocks, strengthen governance, end extreme poverty, and increase prosperity, so that fragile states can provide for the basic needs of their citizens and can avoid being vulnerable hosts for extremism and terrorism.”32



Military

Bolivia’s armed forces are considered one of the lowest ranking militaries in Latin America.33 The three main branches include the Army; including the military police, Navy; also includes Marines, and Air Force. In total, the Bolivian military is made up of 55,000 active duty personnel. The Bolivian Army is organized into ten divisions that occupy different regions throughout the country, with units of cavalry, infantry, mechanized, ranger, artillery, and military police.34 The Bolivian military police (National Police Corps) is responsible for internal security and upholding law and order. Because Bolivia is a landlocked country, the Navy is mainly responsible for river and lake patrolling. The Air Force is considered small in modern day standards, with four air brigades spread throughout nine airbases. The military is mainly used for border protection and patrol.



Conclusion

In summary, using the variables of PMESII-PT in accordance with the 2015 NSS, I believe that Bolivia is on the border of becoming a fragile state. A government that supports coca cultivation, followed by production and distribution of cocaine, can leave a country vulnerable to an array of transnational criminal activity, including the harboring of terrorist organizations. In addition, Bolivia has a very weak infrastructure, high poverty, and a corrupt government, also leaving it vulnerable to major transnational criminal activity, to include the harboring terrorist organizations.



Bibliography

Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. 47th ed. Lanham, MD: Stryker Post Publications, 2013.

Gerard, Ludvik. "Forced Migration Review." Natural Disasters and Indigenous Displacement in Bolivia. December 1, 2012. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.fmreview.org/preventing/girard.

Lee, Matthew. "US Puts Bolivia on Drugs Blacklist." USA Today, September 16, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-09-16-902623970_x.htm.

Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The

White House, February 2015.

Saavedra, Tupac. "Bolivia: The Rise of Evo Morales." PBS. January 10, 2006. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.pbs.org/.

Sarita, Kendall. "South American Cocaine Production." Cultural Survival. February 19, 2010. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/bolivia/south-american-cocaine-production



"2015 South America Military Power." South American Powers Ranked by Military Strength. February 17, 2015. Accessed April 21, 2015.

http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing-south-america.asp

"Applied Technology Issues in Bolivia." Applied Technology Issues in Bolivia. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.fsdinternational.org/country/bolivia/cdissues.

"Bolivia Asks China for $3 Billion for Major Infrastructure." The Schiller Institute. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/blog/2014/09/25/bolivia-asks-china-for-3-billion-for-major-infrastructure/.

"Military." Bolivia Army. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/bolivia/army.htm.

"Petrobras Signs MOU on Gas Exploration in Bolivia." Latin American Herald Tribune - Welcome. April 14, 2015. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2383604&CategoryId=14919.

Rural Poverty Portal." Rural Poverty Portal. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/COUNTRY/home/tags/bolivia.



"South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html


1 Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. 47th ed. Lanham, MD: Stryker Post Publications, 2013.




2 Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. 47th ed. Lanham, MD: Stryker Post Publications, 2013.




3 Saavedra, Tupac. "Bolivia: The Rise of Evo Morales." PBS. January 10, 2006. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.pbs.org/.





4 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html




5 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html




6 Lee, Matthew. "US Puts Bolivia on Drugs Blacklist." USA Today, September 16, 2008. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-09-16-902623970_x.htm.




7 Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. 47th ed. Lanham, MD: Stryker Post Publications, 2013.




8 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.






9
 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html





10
 "Rural Poverty Portal." Rural Poverty Portal. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/COUNTRY/home/tags/bolivia.





11
"Petrobras Signs MOU on Gas Exploration in Bolivia." Latin American Herald Tribune - Welcome. April 14, 2015. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2383604&CategoryId=14919.






12
 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html






13
 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html






14
 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html






15
 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.







16

 Sarita, Kendall. "South American Cocaine Production." Cultural Survival. February 19, 2010. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/bolivia/south-american-cocaine-production.







17

 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html







18

 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html







19

 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html







20

 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.






21


 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html






22


Buckman, Robert T. Latin America 2013. 47th ed. Lanham, MD: Stryker Post Publications, 2013.






23


 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.





24

 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html





25

 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html





26

 Gerard, Ludvik. "Forced Migration Review." Natural Disasters and Indigenous Displacement in Bolivia. December 1, 2012. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.fmreview.org/preventing/girard.





27

 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.


28
 "South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html


29
"Bolivia Asks China for $3 Billion for Major Infrastructure." The Schiller Institute. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/blog/2014/09/25/bolivia-asks-china-for-3-billion-for-major-infrastructure/.


30
"South America: Bolivia." Central Intelligence Agency. January 1, 2014. Accessed April 18, 2015. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ci.html


31
 "Applied Technology Issues in Bolivia." Applied Technology Issues in Bolivia. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.fsdinternational.org/country/bolivia/cdissues.


32
 Obama, Barrack. 2015 National Security Strategy. Washington, DC: The 
White House, February 2015.

33

"2015 South America Military Power." South American Powers Ranked by Military Strength. February 17, 2015. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing-south-america.asp.

34

 "Military." Bolivia Army. Accessed April 21, 2015. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/bolivia/army.htm.



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