Published: Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/02/09/Bolivia-buys-more-arms-to-fight-drug-traffickers/UPI-97611297290490/#ixzz1EUUjN6vP
LA PAZ, Bolivia, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Bolivia is buying six Chinese combat aircraft as part of its effort to correct its image as a country that isn't doing as much as it should to cut off the narcotics trail to North America.
Political feuds between Bolivia and its neighbors and a stormy relationship with Washington hasn't helped Bolivia's campaign against drug overlords who regularly challenge the authority of the state.
Organized crime operators use aircraft to move drugs with impunity in a twin challenge to the government's control of the national airspace and its ineffectual crackdown on fearless drug traffickers in a transnational, multimillion-dollar illicit trade.
After President Evo Morales ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to leave Bolivia in 2008, accusing U.S. officials of complicity in the drug trade as well as political troubles, the anti-narcotics fight fizzled out. U.S. officials dismissed both charges.
After the row with U.S. anti-narcotics officials, who are active elsewhere in Latin America, particularly Colombia, Bolivia has had even less success than before in stopping the powerful drug overlords.
The deal with China gives Beijing a lucrative entry into the Latin American arms market. Bolivia will pay at least $58 million -- most of it covered by a Chinese government loan -- for six K-8 Karakorum jets that are to be delivered by April.
The K-8 is a low-budget attack aircraft that doubles as a trainer. Also called Hongdu JL-8 or Nanchang JL-8 it is a two-seat intermediate jet initially built jointly by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation and state-run Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. China's Hongdu Aviation Industry Corp. is the main contractor for the plane.
Original manufacturing plans for the plane called for some U.S.-made parts but, as difficulties arose over the inclusion of U.S. components, China and Pakistan decided to eliminate those parts and do everything themselves.
Analysts said the deal would be significant for Brazil because Brazilian manufacturer Embraer sees China as a major competitor in small multipurpose aircraft.
Bolivia operates a number of training and cargo planes but none that can face up to the technically advanced drug gangs flying their own aircraft and other paramilitary equipment.
Officials said Bolivia hopes the inclusion of combat aircraft in its anti-narcotics arsenal will discourage cocoa plantations and cross-border drug smuggling.
China has also given Bolivia 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles, cited in professional military media and believed to part of a $60 million deal.
Bolivia is also in negotiation with Russia to buy up to 10 Russian-built MS-7 cargo helicopters, possibly on easy credit terms.
Media reports calculated the government's defense acquisitions are reflected in increased defense spending, which rose by more than 120 percent during the last decade. A survey by El Deber newspaper said the increased spending on military equipment ran counter to the government's pledge to improve education and health and reduce the poverty gap.
Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra said the increase in defense spending was also due to an increase in administrative and personnel costs and salary increases for the armed forces
Friday, December 11, 2009
China to loan $40 Million to the Bolivian Army.After securing a 57.8 million dollars deal to sell six K-8 jet trainers to the Bolivian air force in October 2009 (here) , China has agreed to another 40 million dollar loan to the Bolivian engineering battalions.
The original news article in Spanish.
The Google-translated English.
China financiará con 40 millones de dólares equipos para el Ejército boliviano
Por Agencia EFE
La Paz, 4 dic (EFE).- El Gobierno de China financiará con 40 millones de dólares el equipamiento de seis batallones de ingenieros del Ejército de Bolivia, anunció hoy el presidente Evo Morales al conmemorar el aniversario de una institución de las Fuerzas Armadas.
El mandatario dijo en ese acto militar, celebrado en la ciudad de Cochabamba, que esta semana se aprobó un decreto para que Bolivia adquiera el préstamo de China con el propósito de equipar a los ingenieros militares de La Paz, Tarija, Cochabamba, Pando y Oruro.
El préstamo de los 40 millones de dólares será otorgado por el Export Import Bank of China y se destinará para equipos que permitan construir carreteras nacionales e internacionales en el país.
Además de este apoyo, China está asesorando a Bolivia en la construcción y puesta en orbita de un satélite propio.
Morales participó en el aniversario de la Corporación de las Fuerzas Armadas para el Desarrollo Nacional (Cofadena), una entidad que realiza actividades productivas, pero que actualmente sufre falta de recursos.
Morales achacó al "neoliberalismo" la situación de "quiebra" de esa institución productiva de las Fuerzas Armadas y prometió darle mas apoyo para fortalecer su crecimiento.
La Cofadena presentó hoy al Gobierno medio centenar de tractores que fueron ensamblados en sus instalaciones y tiene como proyecto hacer lo mismo próximamente con máquinas iraníes.
Al respecto, Morales dijo que técnicos de Bolivia y de Irán adelantaron diálogos el pasado 24 de noviembre, cuando el mandatario iraní, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, visitó La Paz.
China financed $ 40 million to the Bolivian Army equipment
By Agencia EFE - 6 days ago
La Paz, Dec 4 (EFE) .- The Chinese Government will finance $ 40 million with the team of six battalions of Army engineers Bolivia, today announced President Evo Morales to commemorate the anniversary of an institution of the Armed Forces.
The president said at the military ceremony held in the city of Cochabamba, which this week approved a decree that Bolivia acquires the loan from China for the purpose of equipping the military engineers of La Paz, Tarija, Cochabamba, Pando and Oruro .
The loan of $ 40 million will be granted by the Export Import Bank of China and will be used to build facilities for national and international roads in the country.
In addition to this support, China is assisting Bolivia in the construction and commissioning in orbit its own satellite.
Morales participated in the anniversary of the Corporation of the Armed Forces for National Development (Cofadena), an entity that carries out productive activities, but which currently suffers from lack of resources.
Morales blamed the "neoliberal" situation "bankruptcy" of the institution of the military production and promised to give more support to strengthen its growth.
The Government today introduced Cofadena fifty tractors were assembled on site and is planning to do so soon with Iranian machines.
In this regard, Morales said Bolivia's technical and Iran begin dialogue on 24 November, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited La Paz.