Colombia is still the world’s biggest producer of cocaine

In 2017, more than 171.00 hectares of coca were grown in Colombia, according to the UN

Colombia is still the world's biggest producer of cocaine

According to a recent report of the Integrated System for Monitoring of Illicit Crops of the UN, in 2017 171,000 hectares of coca were grown and 1,379 tons of cocaine were produced in Colombia. Since 2012, plantations have been increasing, since in five years the figure went from 78 thousand to 200 thousand hectares, according to a report from the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy in the United States.

Leer en español: ¡Qué vergüenza! Colombia aún es el principal productor de cocaína

The negative numbers are not novelty. At the end of 2017, the United States had warned about the increase in illicit crops and in the aforementioned report it pointed to Colombia as the world's leading producer of cocaine, and the main responsible for 90% of the drug that arrives in that country.

"The record growth in cocaine production must be reversed"

According to The Washington Times, the White House is alarmed by the increase in cocaine production, which is "fueling overdose deaths in the United States." But not only the crop grows, the production of cocaine also increases. The White House report revealed that in 2016, 772 metric tons of cocaine were registered. In 2017, the figure rose to 921 metric tons, which is equivalent to an increase of 19%.

At that time the White House described as "unacceptable" the increase in the number of crops in the country and asked the Colombian government to increase efforts and "do more" to reverse the situation.

You can also read: Colombia: How was Ivan Duque’s first month as a President?

"President Trump's message to Colombia is clear: the record growth in cocaine production must be reversed," deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Jim Carroll, said in a statement. .

Carroll said that coca consumption in the United States has skyrocketed as a result of increased cultivation in Colombia, he noted that consumption rose by 81% among new users of the drug between 2013 and 2016. In addition, deaths from overdoses associated with consumption of this drug grew by 110%. However, he insisted that Colombia continues to be an important ally and that they will continue to collaborate to achieve the goals.

The Santos government strategy that could be implemented by Iván Duque

The proposal to use drones and fumigate the coca leaf plantations with glyphosate, proposed by the previous government, could be done with Iván Duque. The devices, which have half the concentration of poison that had the aircraft, represent a minimum risk to the environment and people, explained at the time the former Minister of Defense, Luis Carlos Villegas.

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The current Minister of Defense, Guillermo Botero, defended the use of glyphosate with drones, arguing that "glyphosate has been practically used since 1972 and that in the 914,000 hectares of coffee, 225,000 of cane or 483,000 of palm, among other crops, use this compound."

In addition, the director of the National Police, General Jorge Hernando Nieto, told El Tiempo that the "experimental drone spray tests, which are carried out in Tolima, would be completed in two months." This fact could suppose that Duque's Government could implement them in a few months.

His actions could mean an answer to Mike Pence, vice president of the United States, who in a telephone conversation with Duque asked for his commitment in the anti-drug actions, emphasizes the same media. Despite a brutal confrontation of years with drug trafficking groups and the peace agreement, Colombia remains as the world's leading producer of cocaine, a crucial and painful aspect that it has not been able to overcome.

Latin American Post | Cenay Sanchez

Copy edited by Diana Rojas Leal

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