LA PAZ – Bolivia’s elite FELCN counter-narcotics unit in just one day destroyed 29 laboratories for making cocaine that were discovered in four peasant communities in the central province of Cochabamba, the press said Friday.
The mobile labs were able to process 145 kilos (319 pounds) of cocaine a day, El Deber newspaper reported, citing the FELCN chief in Cochabamba, Elvin Baptista.
Police say the peasants were using “Colombian” techniques for making drugs with mobile laboratories in which they milled the coca leaf.
The small production facilities were found near the Inca ruins of Inca Rakay and in the communities of Chorjocho and Tuscapujllo, at some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Cochabamba city in the poorest part of the province.
There were no arrests because the presence of the agents was quickly detected by the peasants, police said.
In 2009, Bolivian authorities seized 25.3 tons of cocaine, destoyed 1,937 tons of marijuana and eradicated 6,272 hectares (15,486 acres) of coca, the source of cocaine.
Like neighboring Peru, Bolivia permits cultivation of coca in limited quantities for use in beverages, folk remedies and Andean religious rites. Coca, in its unadulterated form, is a mild stimulant that eases hunger pangs and the effects of high altitude. EFE