The United States said Tuesday that Colombia continues to be the world’s largest coca producer and source of 95% of the cocaine seized within the U.S.
According to the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy report, the areas used for the production of coca in 2010 went down to 100,000 hectares, a 14% decrease compared to 2009.
Nevertheless, the hectares used for coca cultivation are almost double that of the world’s #2 coca producer, Peru which was reported to have 53,000 hectares of coca fields.
The U.S. report is significantly more negative about Colombian coca cultivation than the International Narcotics Control Board that estimated 62,000 hectares were used for coca cultivation in 2010.
The State Department praised Colombia for making “important advances in combating the production, exportation, and consumption of illicit drugs. These efforts have kept several hundred metric tons of drugs each year from reaching the United States and other world markets, and have helped stabilize Colombia.”
“The principal lesson learned from the massive reductions in coca cultivation, cocaine production, and general insecurity throughout Colombia is that long-term success in counternarcotics strategies and operations requires an integrated, broad-based approach. Government-led security, economic development and drug demand programs all need to work in coordination. Maintaining pressure on coca farmers, narcotics producers, and traffickers through eradication and interdiction reduces cultivation and production, and keeps drugs out of the United States and volatile transit zones. At the same time, programs that expand the presence of the State and improve the rule of law and economic prosperity can lead communities to choose democratic values, licit economic activity and support for state institutions, which in turn promotes more permanent eradication results,” the report concludes.