Twenty percent of cocaine produced in Colombia is not send abroad, but sold domestically, according to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
Citing statistics from the judicial and intelligence branch of the National Police as well as other national statistics organizations, El Tiempo revealed that of the 345, 000 kilos of cocaine produced in Colombia annually, at least 20% remains in Colombia to feed the growing domestic market.
According to the daily, the increased difficulty of exporting shipments outside of Colombia and the growth of the domestic demand for cocaine, as well as a reported increase in the trade of marijuana and basuco (a cheap and extremely addictive crude cocaine paste) have led to more drug traffickers opting to keep and push their produce inside Colombia rather than run the higher risks of exportation to Europe or the United States.
The Police reportedly have information about the existence of 3,367 drug rings within Colombia, controlled by 200 local gangs who in turn receive their narcotics from neo-paramilitary organizations as well as from rebel forces such as the FARC.
Colombia has long been the world’s leading cocaine producer. However, historically the country’s prolific production has been directed towards exportation of the drug as opposed to local consumption.
According to the most recent Colombian government census, only 10% of Colombians admit to ever having used drugs.