The United States has fixed Colombia’s coca production figures, website NarcoLeaks reported Wednesday.
According to NarcoLeaks, a group of Italian journalists and researchers, U.S. official statistics list total Colombian cocaine production as 295 metric tons in 2008, whereas in fact 351.8 metric tons — equal to 121.3% of official figures — of Colombian cocaine has been seized in worldwide operations. Colombia Reports cannot find any information confirming this second figure.
The group also looked at data pertaining to cocaine processing labs. It claims that Colombian police uncovered one such lab in the department of Meta in Colombia’s Eastern Plains on October 14 with the capacity to produce 500kg to 800kg per day. This is equivalent to 182 to 292 metric tons per year.
The higher figure surpasses the aforementioned official statics of Colombian cocaine production. If NarcoLeaks claims about official statistics are correct this would mean according to the U.S. Colombia has only one cocaine processing lab. In Colombia 200 to 300 cocaine processing labs are found and destroyed each year.
According to NarcoLeaks “someone’s maths is wrong.”
The research group posed five questions to U.S. President Barack Obama and other top U.S. government officials regarding the statistical anomalies and Plan Colombia, as follows:
1. How is it possible that, according to your official data, the quantity of cocaine seized is higher than the estimate of cocaine produced?
2. How is it possible that the U.S. Department of State maintains that the world production of cocaine amounts to 700 metric tons, if according to the U.S. Coast Guard the only U.S.bound cocaine trafficking from South America equals already 771 metric tons?
3. How is it possible that different U.S. authorities are in direct contradiction with each other?
4. Why do they continue to claim that cocaine production in Colombia has dropped when all the available data say otherwise?
5. In light of these contradictions, are all the billions of dollars spent to fund Plan Colombia justified?