Colombia is “without a doubt” a “success story” in terms of counter-narcotics programs and general public security progress, US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday.
The chief of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy praised Colombia while in Vienna to attend the presentation of the UNODC’s annual drug trafficking report.
Kerlikowske praised Colombia for its ongoing efforts to reduce drug trafficking. “Not only when it comes to the eradication of coca crops, but also in the reduction of violence and improving security.”
The drug czar took part in the presentation of the annual UN report in which Colombia was reported to have seized 200 tons of cocaine last year. The US itself seized 94 tons.
The UNODC did not publish the 2012 figures regarding coca cultivation in the Andean region, but is expected to do so in the coming weeks.
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported last week that the country saw a 25% drop in coca cultivation in 2012. Citing the UNODC’s undisclosed figures, El Tiempo reported that the country hit an all-time low in the cultivation of the crop used to make cocaine.
Unless Peru shows an equally drastic drop in coca cultivation, Colombia will lose its position as the world’s #1 producer of coca which it has held since the 1990s.