Coca cultivation in Colombia dropped a spectacular 25% last year and hit a historic low, newspaper El Tiempo revealed Sunday based on undisclosed figures by the United Nations.
According to the leading newspaper, the area used for coca cultivation dropped from 64,000 to 48,000 hectares between 2011 and 2012.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime won’t release it annual report on drug trafficking and crime until July, but — just like last year — Colombia’s newspaper received leaked results of the survey ahead of publication.
If confirmed, the steep drop in coca cultivation means that Colombia’s coca production has dropped to its lowest level since the 1990s when Colombian drug traffickers like Pablo Escobar began moving coca plantations from neighboring countries Peru and Bolivia to their home country.
Coca cultivation in Colombia
According to El Tiempo, experts have said that the key in achieving the significant drop was an increase in control on the replanting of coca following eradication.
Authorities focused most their efforts on the Putumayo department, an area where coca cultivation in 2011 increased significantly.
FACT SHEET: Coca cultivation in Colombia
Colombia has been the world’s largest producer of cocaine since the 1990s, but has seen sharp drops as Colombian authorities, supported by the U.S., aggressively began fumigating and manually eradicating crops.
The official UNODC report is set to be released in a month.
Coca cultivation in Colombia per department (2011)
- Histórica caída de los cultivos de coca (El Tiempo)