The United States reported that potential cocaine production from 2009 to 2010 increased, while over the past ten years potential cocaine production has decreased by 57%.
According to the report obtained by newspaper El Tiempo, potential cocaine production grew from 290 metric tons in 2009 to 300 metric tons in 2010, a growth of 3.5%.
While this number has increased, the United States reportedly said that Colombia is keeping the line in the fight against drugs with a 57% decrease in potential cocaine production from 700 metric tons in 2001 to 300 in 2010, according to the director of the U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, AFP reported.
The potential production of cocaine is based on the amount of cocaine that can be produced by coca plants that are cultivated inside Colombia’s borders. The amount of acres of cocaine crops decreased insignificantly between 2009-2010, by less than 1%.
In 2010 anti-drug forces reportedly eradicated over 360,000 acres of coca crops.
A separate report titled “The Latin American Drug Trade” released by the non-profit research organization RAND, which was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, states that the “number of drug players operating in Colombia, the world’s chief supplier of refined cocaine, has not declined” and despite major busts of key cartel leaders, the U.S. has not significantly reduced the region’s overall narcotics trade.
The author of the drug trade report, Peter Chalk, suggested that the U.S. reduce or eliminate aerial spraying of coca crops because it hurts legitimate farmers as well as encourages growers to produce higher-yielding more resistant plants.
According to the report, the highest earners from the drug trade remain the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who are believed to earn as much as $300 million annually.