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Montevideo, September 23rd 2023 - 08:40 UTC



Cocaine production in Bolivia “stable,” US agency reports

Friday, July 15th 2022 - 10:18 UTC
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Colombia's figures showed a slight decrease from 2021 Colombia's figures showed a slight decrease from 2021

The United States' Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Thursday published a report thoroughly describing crops and distribution activities in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.

The White House agency also drafted a series of recommendations for local authorities in the three countries.

The ONDCP report showed that activity in Bolivia remained “stable” when compared to 2020 when coca crops comprised 39,400 hectares with a potential to produce 312 tons of cocaine, while in 2019 it had registered 42,180 hectares and 301 tons, respectively.

The data presented by the US are different from those published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which reported that Bolivia had 25,500 hectares of cultivation in 2019 and 29,400 hectares in 2020.

The US government also encouraged Bolivian authorities to up the fight against cocaine cultivation and production. “The United States encourages the Government of Bolivia to continue its efforts to reduce coca cultivation and cocaine production,” said the ONDCP report.

According to the same report, coca cultivation in Colombia in 2021 reached an estimated 234,000 hectares with a potential cocaine output of 972 tons; while Peru had 84,400 hectares and 785 tons, respectively.

“High levels of cocaine production in South America represent a persistent security challenge for the Andean countries and a threat to public health in the United States,” the ONDCP report warned while adding that the administration of President Joseph Biden considered it a key priority to work with its partners in South America on their National Drug Control Strategy, which seeks to end the US overdose epidemic by addressing both the addiction and trafficking aspects of the drug trade.

Colombia's 234,000 hectares represented a 4.7% decrease from 2020 and 972 tons of cocaine meant 2.2% less than the previous year.

According to Colombia's National Police, the cocaine trade during 2021 would have moved between US$ 5 and US$ 6 billion. “This report recognizes the seizure and eradication efforts of Colombia and all our soldiers and police to fight all the chains of drug trafficking.”

The document also reaffirmed the links between Colombia and the United States towards reducing and replacing coca cultivation and cocaine production.

In 2021, “the Colombian government reported more than 103,000 hectares manually eradicated, 757 metric tons of cocaine and cocaine base seized, and more than 5,700 drug laboratories destroyed,” the document stated.

Categories: Latin America.

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