HC Deb 02 November 2000 vol 355 c560W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent violence in the Chapare region of Bolivia. [135111]

Mr. Battle

The political situation in Bolivia has stabilised following a period of social unrest and violent tension in late September and early October. Protests in the Chapare centred on the Bolivian Government's plans to eradicate illegal coca crops, in line with a five year counter-drug action plan.

An agreement was reached with coca growers on 14 October and the situation in the Chapare has stabilised, although there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence since then. The agreement provides for better implementation and control of alternative development projects and the establishment of a human rights commission to investigate violence and deaths in the Chapare since 1998. The Bolivian Government has also shelved plans to build three military barracks in the Chapare.