Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, Lima, 14-21 December 1964

Sections

Coca Leaf and Cocaine Problems
The problem of illicit traffic
Resolution I - submitted by the delegations of Bolivia, Colombia and Peru
Resolution II submitted by the delegation of Brazil, supported by the delegations of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador
Resolution III - submitted by the delegations of Ecuador and Peru
Resolution IV - submitted by the delegation of Peru
Resolution V - submitted by the delegations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador

Details

Pages: 37 to 41
Creation Date: 1965/01/01

Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, Lima, 14-21 December 1964

The meeting of the Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems was held in Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964. It was organized as a regional project under resolution 1395 (XIV) of the General Assembly of the United Nations which established a continuing programme of technical assistance in narcotics control. It followed a recommendation made by the Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems held at Lima in 1962, endorsed by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and finally by the Economic and Social Council suggesting that meetings of that kind should be held periodically. This meeting is a follow-up to other meetings of the same nature which took place in 1960, 1961 and 1962.

The meeting was attended by participants from the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In addition, the Governments of Paraguay, the United States of America and Venezuela sent observers. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also participated in the meeting. The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) was also represented.

The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Group during the course of its deliberations are as follows:

Coca Leaf and Cocaine Problems

Conclusions

The Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems,

Having studied the problems posed by the coca leaf in the light of the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report of the Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf (1950) and of the resolutions adopted at the meetings on this subject held at Rio de Janeiro in 1960 (Inter-American Meeting on Illicit Traffic in Cocaine and Coca Leaf), and 1961 (Inter-American Consultative Group on Narcotics Control), and at Lima in 1962 (Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems),

Considering the new situation created by the entry into force of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961,

Having established in the course of its deliberations the present state of the said problem and reached the conclusion that cocaism is a negative factor in the development of the countries where it is prevalent,

Taking into account the possibilities of action which exist at present in the countries concerned,

Concludes

  1. That the legitimate uses of the coca leaf should be restricted to the following:

    1. Medical and scientific uses. The galenical preparations of which the coca leaf is the main ingredient have fallen into disuse, and the use in medicine of cocaine and its salts is constantly decreasing since there are numerous synthetic products which can advantageously be substituted for cocaine as a local anaesthetic; and

    2. Industrial uses. The amounts needed for the production of flavouring substances can easily be obtained from a minute percentage of the present annual production of coca leaves.

  2. That cocaism is not an isolated phenomenon. It is a consequence of a series of unfavourable (ecological, social, economic and cultural) factors; all efforts to eliminate cocaism should:

    1. Stimulate research into the causes of cocaism;

    2. Intensify health education, especially that directed toward the eradication of coca leaf chewing;

    3. Promote economic, social and cultural development leading to an improvement of the living standard of the community.

Recommendations

  1. The Consultative Group urges all Governments to ratify Convention No. 95 of the International Labour Organisation which prohibits the paying, in whole or in part, of wages in the form of noxious drugs.

  2. The Group requests the planning and implementation of a programme with specified purposes and objectives, with a view to limiting the cultivation of the coca bush exclusively to the lawful uses in conformity with the Single Convention of 1961, on the lines of that initiated by the Government of Peru when it ordered the reduction of the coca-growing areas. The said programme should be financed by the Governments directly affected (Bolivia, Colombia and Peru), other Governments concerned, the United Nations and its specialized agencies and other sources of international credit. -

  3. The Group urgently recommends the substitution of other crops for the coca bush and considers that research should be encouraged to try to develop varieties of coca having little or no dangerous alkaloid content.

  4. With the objective of implementing the proposed programme, and inasmuch as it is absolutely indispensable to know exactly the location and extent of all coca bush plantations in the Andean region and their output, activities should be initiated or continued to carry out a cadastral survey of the coca-growing areas.

  5. The socio-economic level of these areas affected by coca leaf chewing should be raised, and this should be accomplished with the help of international collaboration (mentioned above), including financial and technical assistance in such specific aspects of the programme as legislation, cadastral surveys, crop substitution, and training of personnel.

  6. Governments faced with the problem should give priority within their general plans for social and economic development to the depressed areas producing and consuming the coca leaf.

  7. The activities of Peru's National Plan for Integration of the Indian Population and Bolivia's National Plan for Rural Development, which is being executed with the technical assistance of the Andean Programme, should be intensified and used to the fullest possible extent, and should be co-ordinated as closely as possible with the aims and activities of the programme that is proposed for the elimination of coca leaf chewing.

  8. The Group recognizes that education is a vital aspect of that programme and recommends above all to the countries affected by this problem that they should expand to the utmost their educational programmes through adequate co-ordination between the Ministries of Education and Health, the Universities, and other public and private organizations involved in the socioeconomic and cultural development of the community.

  9. The countries faced with this problem should work in close contact with one another and exchange every six months information regarding the progress of their programme.

  10. Countries which have not yet done so should establish national commissions responsible for the control of narcotic drugs.

  11. Countries which have not yet done so should ratify the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961.

The problem of illicit traffic

Conclusions

In accordance with its terms of reference, the Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems limited its study of the problem of the illicit traffic in South America to the coca leaf and cocaine, though some reference was made to the illicit traffic in other narcotic drugs.

The Group agreed that the traffic in cocaine is the principal illicit drug traffic problem in this region and is a source of concern because it has been increasing in recent years, the cocaine often being found at considerable distances from the sources of production (mostly in the Americas). The international traffic in cocaine is not, however, so alarming as the traffic in opiates.

The cocaine found in this traffic is illicitly produced from a raw material which is itself legally produced, the coca leaf. The Group considers that only a reduction in the production and consumption of this raw material would be a true remedy for the situation.

The cocaine is extracted from the coca leaf in clandestine laboratories located in the coca-producing regions in some cities of Peru and Bolivia, and also in certain neighbouring countries. It then moves mainly east and west towards the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America and thence to the countries where there is an illicit market.

There is an illicit traffic in coca leaf, particularly between Bolivia and Argentina, which will continue for so long as quantities of coca leaf are produced in excess of those needed for legitimate purposes, since the traffickers will always make every effort to profit from the situation.

The Group was informed of the facilities which exist in the United States for the training of narcotic control officers, including a permanent school in Washington, D.C., while INTERPOL also holds seminars periodically on the control of narcotic drugs; in addition, fellowships may be awarded to qualified candidates who wish to receive advanced training in narcotics control. The Group considered it very desirable that Governments should take advantage of these opportunities. Since the illicit traffic problem is of a regional nature, the Group considered that it would be desirable to arrange a study tour of the countries concerned for the benefit of officials responsible for enforcement, in order to acquaint them with the measures being applied by the Governments for curbing the traffic.

Since both the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs and INTERPOL have expressed the opinion that severe penalties involving imprisonment for traffickers were the best preventive measures against Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, Lima, 14-21 December 1964 39 illicit traffic, the Group recommends that Governments should consider this approach.

The Group commended the excellent co-operation achieved and the efforts made by the Governments of the region in the struggle against the illicit traffic in cocaine since the Lima meeting of 1962, particularly in the carrying out of seizures of cocaine and the arrest of traffickers, and stressed the need for the continuation and intensification of this co-operation, especially in the exchange of information about traffickers and in the joint investigation of important cases. It was considered that the centralization of intelligence and the use of the services and techniques of INTERPOL would prove very helpful.

It was emphasized how valuable was the close collaboration between neighbouring countries for the purpose of controlling contraband traffic across land frontiers in the case of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile etc. Similarly, it was regarded as of great importance that frontier agreements should be concluded enabling the officials responsible for the control of narcotic drugs to co-operate more effectively in the arrest of traffickers and in the seizure of narcotics.

Recommendations

The Consultative Group recommends:

  1. That all the recommendations of the previous meetings (the Rio de Janeiro meetings of 1960 and 1961, and the Lima meeting of 1962) should continue to be applied;

  2. That the countries of the region should make great efforts to achieve the suppression of the illicit traffic in coca leaf, coca paste and cocaine, not only by strengthening their enforcement services, but also by using the means open under the law to reduce the quantity of coca leaf available to the traffickers;

  3. That the Governments of the region should co-operate closely in order to control effectively their respective frontiers and to prevent smuggling in coca leaf, coca paste and cocaine;

  4. That the Governments of the region should accelerate the exchange of information on illicit traffic and traffickers, using for this purpose the facilities provided by INTERPOL;

  5. That severe penalties should be applied to persons found guilty of the offence of illicit trafficking in coca leaf, coca paste and cocaine;

  6. That Governments should utilise to the fullest possible extent all available technical assistance (United Nations fellowships, INTERPOL seminars, bilateral aid, etc.) in order to give adequate training to the officials responsible for inspection and investigation of cases concerning narcotics;

  7. That consideration should be given to the possibility of organizing a study tour to the points where trafficking and smuggling occur (airports, ports, frontier points of special interest, etc.) in the areas most affected (Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile, northern Argentina and western Brazil) for the inspectors and investigating officials of the countries involved. This study tour would be organized under the auspices and with the assistance of the United Nations, and its object would be to inquire into the principal problems of, and into the methods employed in, fighting the illicit traffic in coca leaf, coca paste and cocaine;

  8. That the services of the outposted officer of the Division of Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations resident in the region should be utilized, whenever required, to promote the conclusion and implementation of frontier agreements which facilitate the fight against the illicit traffic.

In addition, the Group adopted five resolutions as follows:

Resolution I - submitted by the delegations of Bolivia, Colombia and Peru

The Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, meeting at .Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964,

Notingthat the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, has entered into force and that its provisions give rise to binding obligations, including the obligation to abolish coca leaf chewing within twenty-five years from the coming into force of the Convention and the obligation to uproot coca bushes which grow wild and to destroy coca bushes that are illegally cultivated,

Consideringthat it is indispensable to know with the greatest exactitude the location and extent of all coca bush plantations in the Andean region and that it is also necessary to know the actual total production of the coca leaf in each of the producing countries,

Considering furthermore that the legitimate uses of the coca leaf are diminishing,

Consideringthat, although the production of the coca leaf shows a slight tendency to decrease, there has nevertheless been an increase in the illicit traffic in coca leaf and in cocaine,

Is of the opinion that the first urgent positive step towards the performance of those obligations is to initiate or to continue the cadastral survey of the coca-growing areas and to determine their production;

Considersthat at the same time the land should be classified with a view to working out an adequate scheem of crop substitution, for which purpose the countries concerned (Bolivia, Colombia and Peru) would apply to the United Nations for advice and technical assistance, and suggests the establishment of a special fund or the appropriation of budget funds and the appointment of an International Technical Commission (land survey) which, with the co-operation (in personnel) of the producing countries, should initiate or continue the survey of the coca-growing areas and evaluate their production;

Recommendsthat the Commission on Narcotic Drugs should consider this resolution at its next session, endorse it and submit it to the appropriate organs of the United Nations for adoption.

Resolution II submitted by the delegation of Brazil, supported by the delegations of Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador

The Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, meeting at Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964,

Taking into account the progress made by Peru in its efforts to restrict the coca leaf producing areas, to limit the use of coca to legitimate purposes and to reduce cocaism until it is abolished, through the enactment of adequate legislation which, supplemented by administrative measures, is designed to comply faithfully with the obligations arising out of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and with the recommendations of the previous meeting of the Consultative Group, warmly congratulates the Government of Peru on this action which testifies to its belief in the need to abolish coca leaf chewing,

Notingthat the position in Bolivia has remained stationary and recalling that as long ago as 1949 the Commission of Enquiry recommended (among other steps) that Peru and Bolivia should apply simultaneously a similar policy of limiting the production and regulating the distribution of the coca leaf and that their legislation on the subject should be based upon the same principles and aimed at achieving identical objectives, and

Noting furthermore that the success of the gradual abolition of the coca leaf chewing habit would depend to a large extent on the adoption and application of a like policy in the other countries where the habit is prevalent,

Recommendsvery respectfully and sincerely that the sister Republic of Bolivia should endeavour to apply measures similar to those of Peru.

Resolution III - submitted by the delegations of Ecuador and Peru

The Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, meeting at Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964,

Considering

  1. That the fight against the coca leaf chewing habit and against the illicit traffic in and consumption of addiction-producing drugs should begin in the schools and colleges,

  2. That ignorance of the harmful effects of addiction-producing substances contributes to the spread of such habits and to the increase of disease, crime, social conflict, etc.,

Recommends:

  1. That the countries of America should be asked to direct, through their Ministries of Education, that public health syllabuses must include, as a compulsory subject, instruction concerning the harmful effects and the economic and social consequences of the coca leaf chewing habit and of the illicit traffic in and consumption of narcotics;

  2. That the World Health Organization should prepare model texts, suitable for students in schools and colleges, concerning the harmful effects and the economic and social consequences of the coca leaf chewing habit and of the illicit traffic in and consumption of addiction-producing drugs;

  3. That the World Health Organization should authorize the Ministries of Education to reprint those model texts for the purpose of promoting their distribution;

  4. That the Ministries or Departments of Health of the various countries should, through the appropriate agencies, co-operate in the campaigns against these social evils.

Resolution IV - submitted by the delegation of Peru

The Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, meeting at Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964,

Consideringthe necessity for maintaining regional co-ordination in the efforts to apply the provisions of the Single Convention and other measures directed toward the abolition of the cultivation of the coca bush and the coca leaf chewing habit,

Suggeststhat the United Nations should continue the presence of a resident officer outposted by the Divi sion of Narcotic Drugs and that it should place at his disposal the necessary means enabling him to travel to the countries concerned and to perform his regional mission adequately.

Resolution V - submitted by the delegations of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador

The Inter-American Consultative Group on Coca Leaf Problems, meeting at Lima from 14 to 21 December 1964

Has noted with great satisfaction the excellent preparations made for the organization of its work, from the scientific as well as from the technical and administrative points of view, and wishes to express its gratitude to:

  1. The Government of Peru and in particular to His Excellency Dr. Javier Arias Stella, the Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare, for having generously made arrangements for the holding of the meeting in Peru, and for having decisively contributed to its success;

  1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations for having prepared and convened this meeting as well as for having organized a programme in keeping with its important objectives, and to the specialized agencies which played a very efficient and constructive part in the meeting;

  2. Its Chairman, Dr. Carlos Quiros Salinas, Director-General of Health in the Peruvian Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, for the qualities of leadership he displayed in the Chair, which contributed greatly to the success of the meeting;

  3. The United Nations for having sponsored the meeting and for the great benefits which will without doubt ensue therefrom;

  4. The distinguished delegation of Peru which once again demonstrated its sincere interest in making a valuable contribution to the solution of the great problem with which the meeting was concerned.