Within South America PERU BRAZIL ECUADOR VENEZUELA BOLIVIA COLOMBIA GUYANA SURINAM FRENCH GUIANA
GENERAL INFORMATION World’s largest river basin Origin is Nevado Mismi, flows eastward, emptying into Atlantic Basin Countries: Brazil (62.4%), Peru (16.3%) Bolivia (12.0%), Colombia (6.3%) Ecuador (2.1%)
ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE “Lungs of our Planet” Capable of absorbing huge amounts of carbon dioxide 2.5 million insect species, 2,000 birds and mammals The diversity of plant species in basin is highest on Earth One square kilometer contains over 7,500 types of trees 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists
ECOLOGICAL CONCERNS Logging Agricultural Production - soy Cattle Ranching – leading cause of deforestation in Brazil Water Pollution – primarily from oil mining
Political Actions Brazil – environmental police/reserves Peru – INRENA, National Institute of Natural Resources Bolivia – certified forests through FSC Colombia – drugs affecting process Ecuador – no governmental institutions Together – Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), OAS
Drug Trafficking in the Amazon Brazil Bolivia Peru Colombia
Brazil: What is the Govternment Doing? Internally - adopted policies that aim to curb drug abuse in the country. External policy - contributes to the work of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. In the Latin American region, Brazil also works with the OAS and its Inter-American Commission on the Control of Drug-Abuse.
Brazilian Government Agencies that Fight Against Drug Trafficking (SENAD) Brazil’s National Anti-Drug Secretariat is the governmental agency in the country that deals with issues of illegal traffic. (CONAD) Is the National Anti-Drug Council that carries out the orders of SENAD. CONAD is made up of governmental officials from all branches of govt
Brazil & Drug Trade: Final Considerations While the Amazon Basin is relatively isolated, it is also accessible via roads and waterways that are controlled by different drug trafficking groups. Basin transportation arteries are also used to smuggle stolen vehicles, gold, coffee, soy, in exchange for coca, cocaine and arms. Brazilians place blame for drug problem on US consumption. Brazil’s involvement in the drug trade in the Amazon Basin is more based on the country’s vast territory being used to transport the drugs to Colombia and other countries.
Bolivia From 1992 to 2000 Bolivia reduced its illegal narcotics production. In 2001 it was calculated that in the past decade Bolivia went from 48,000 hectares of coca fields to 22,000. Destruction of Amazon Basin forest lands due to drug productions is evident in Bolivia. Slash and Burn has been practiced in over 40,000 hectares of Bolivian forest to clear land for coca production.
Peru In the 1990’s the Peruvian government began a plan to eradicate the drug trade and consumption in the country. Efforts were made not only to stop the trade but to oppose terrorist groups and drug traffickers Due to these efforts Peru reduced its coca crops by 70.5%. This caused a drop from 115,000 hectares of coca fields in 1995, to 34,000 in 2001. This operation was made possible with efforts of the Peruvian Air Force as well.
Peru At turn of century drug traffickers moved to the coastlines and the waters to traffic the narcotics. Currently Peru is patrolling the waters, and also engaging in drug raids in the jungle as well as air surveillance.
Colombia Forests are cleared via slash and burn in Colombia for production of cocaine. Coca production in Colombia grew by 175% between 1985 and 1989 Additional to the 27,000 hectares of land cleared in the late 80’s there have been an addition 8-10,000 hectares cleared in forest areas in the 1990’s to continue production.
Colombia Plan Colombia - funding from US government to Colombia to aid in the drug war United States has spent 3 billion dollars to fuel the war on drugs. However, one of the problems has been the destruction of the big cartels and the creation of smaller ones which have been harder to target. The Bush administration is seeking more than $700 million from Congress in counterinsurgency and counter narcotics aid for Colombia in the 2006 fiscal year. The US currently has 800 US troops stationed in Colombia. Success a matter of controversy
PLAN Colombia: Limited Success A total of 33,585 peasant families in Putumayo have already signed voluntary eradication agreements, receiving alternative development aid from the government. By the end of 2004 16% of all coca fields in Colombia were eradicated.
Guerrilla warfare in the Amazon: Who is there and what are the countries doing about it?
Guerrilla groups operating within the Basin Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Dislocated over 2,000 indigenous Indians from their homes. Many different governments trying to reduce their influence
Al-Qaeda in Venezuelan Amazon? Is it operating in Venezuela? Venezuelan-based web site: Solicits donations Seeks to recruit members Vague references to planning attacks
Guerilla violence : Brazil Brazil-Colombia border largely unmarked Border also sparsely populated Chemicals for processing cocaine rumored to come from Sao Paulo industries May 2002: 1 soldier shot, 2 missing during Brazilian war games
Occidental Pipeline: Colombia Bombed over 1000 times since 1986 despite U.S. efforts at protection 2.9 million barrels of crude oil spilled (11 times EXV) Deprived Occidental and the Colombian government of: ○ 24 million barrels of oil and 266 days of oil ○ Reduces economic incentive of investing in the pipeline
Second largest trading partner Economic interest in Amazon lumber minerals Road-building Deforestation China as an Economic force in the Amazon
Brazil: Controlling the Amazon In July 2002, Brazil unveiled a new $1.4 billion surveillance system to monitor the Amazon Rainforest Raytheon wins the contract to build this system Criticism of the US because of the push for Raytheon to win