Colombia’s newly- appointed minister of justice described a recent UN report indicating an increase in the country’s coca cultivation as a crucial part of policy creation.
“The report on illegal drug cultivation in Colombia – 2011 which was presented by the United Nations is, without doubt, an input we appreciate, value and will analyze in detail with the purpose of refining our policies and our institutional articulation,” said the Ruth Stella Correa Palacio in a press statement.
The report, published Wednesday, showed a 3% rise in coca cultivation in Colombia in 2011 compared to the previous year.
The minister said that although coca cultivation had increased from 153,200 hectares in 2010 to 158,100 in 2011, it did not represent “a significant increase.” She went on to say the report would “encourage further revision of our eradication policies in order to advance more efficiently.”
Correa highlighted a reduction of coca cultivation in 14 of the country’s 32 departments, among them Magdalena, La Guajira and Cundinamarca, which have historically been important coca growing regions.
The minister expressed concern over the increase of coca growth in Colombia’s national parks, border areas and indigenous reserves, but pointed to the 31% of national territory that was completely free from illicit crops.