Cocaine production in Colombia is at a record high despite the US providing around $400m annually to assist in ‘war on drugs’…(Our Tax Dollars At Work?)

Thursday, September 20, 2018
By Paul Martin

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released the Colombia Coca Survey
It warned that increased production may be an obstacle to peace in the area
Colombia’s Justice minister called the 31% rise from 2016 ‘really very worrying’

20 September 2018

Colombian cocaine production rose 31% year on year to hit record levels in 2017, newly released UN statistics show.

The world’s largest cocaine producer cultivated around 1,400 tonnes of cocaine last year on some 171,000 hectares.

These figures are a huge blow to the country’s war on drugs, to which the US reportedly donates an annual $400m.

The growth in acreage used to produce coca represents an increase of 25,000 hectares, or 17 per cent compared to the previous year.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned that the increased production might hinder efforts to secure peace in the area, with Gloria María Borrero Restrepo, Colombia’s justice minister, saying it was ‘really very worrying’.

Most cocaine produced in Colombia finds it way to the US, which is the world’s largest consumer of the Class A drug.

An estimated 92% of cocaine samples seized by police in the US can be traced to Colombia.

The report also said that the potential market value of cocaine produced in Colombia in 2017 was about $2.7bn (£2bn).

Washington’s ‘Plan Colombia’ initiative, which aims to tackle drug trafficking as well as quell production, has cost them more than $10 billion over the last 15 years.

The country has been trying to stem the production of cocaine since the 1980s and 90s, when Pablo Escobar and his Medellín cartel ran the business.

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