Colombian authorities announced Tuesday that 40,689 hectares of illicit crops have been eradicated manually so far in 2009.
According to a press release on the website of the Colombia agency of social welfare, 149 eradication teams comprised of peasants and demobilized individuals, have eradicated the illicit crops in the departments of Antioquia, Nariño, Meta, Vichada, and Putumayo.
The police and the military protect the eradication teams against retaliatory actions by the drug cartels.
Colombia eradicated 66,805 hectares of illicit crops in 2007 and 96,115 in 2008. The eradicated illicit crops are coca, marijuana, and poppies.