File photo of a coca leaf collector at work in Colombia File photo of a coca leaf collector at work in Colombia  (AFP or licensors)

UN: Colombia could produce record amount of cocaine

The United Nations releases a report detailing a potential record-breaking crop of coca production in Colombia, which would have grave consequences for the rest of the world.

By James Blears

Coca production has leapt by a staggering 43 percent during the last year in Colombia, where more than 200,000 hectares are under cultivation, according to a UN report from its office on drugs and crime.

Colombia is the largest single producer of cocaine in the world, and this latest worrying development is an appalling blow.

It will be refined and inevitably end up on the streets of European and North American cities.

This will also impact on the prices traffickers and dealers will bring to bear, making it cheaper and more easily available as a drug of choice for addicts.

Combatting narcotics

The new president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, who was inaugurated in June, has said the global war against narcotics has failed.

He says it’s killed a million Latin Americans during the last forty years and 70,000 North Americans annually.

Spraying the coca plants with herbicide from the air was halted in 2015 because the herbicides used can allegedly cause cancer.

But it’s obvious that the eradication efforts on the ground have significantly lost ground. 

Efforts to persuade farmers to cultivate other crops by offering subsidies and incentives has also failed.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met with President Petro in Colombia and said they share a comprehensive approach to combatting cocaine, commenting they are in sync.

But these latest figures suggest that a surge of cocaine is going to make many thousands of drug addicts very sick. 

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21 October 2022, 16:50