Bolivia, 5 May 2011
Four UN staff working for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), along with two Bolivian military pilots, died in a plane crash in Bolivia on 5 May2011.
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC expressed his deep sorrow:
"Our thoughts go out to the families and colleagues of both the UN staff and Bolivian military pilots who were lost in this tragic crash. Those UN staff who perished were carrying out some of the most important work for our Office which depends on their essential monitoring work to help in the preparation of national Bolivian crop monitoring reports and UNODC's most important publication, the World Drug Report." said Mr Fedotov. "I would like to express my sincere condolences to all those affected by this unfortunate news. It is a tragic blow to our Office and to the Bolivian nation."
UNODC routinely monitors the production of narcotic crops in several parts of the world from Asia to South America in order to prepare data on narcotic crop production for national monitoring reports such as the Bolivia Coca Survey, in this case, and the World Drug Report. While the majority of the monitoring is done by satellite, routine flights such as these are often necessary to confirm the accuracy of some parts of the satellite images received. It was during one of these monitoring flights that the plane went missing on Thursday 5 May. Despite false sightings of the plane and inaccurate reports over the weekend, its wreckage was found on Saturday 7 May in an isolated area of Bolivia.
Leonardo Ivan Alfaro Santiago (Bolivia)
Stephan Javier Campos Ruiz (Bolivia)
Mariela Cinthia Moreno Torreblanco (Bolivia)
Patricia Olga Delgado Rua (Bolivia)