More than 1,800 policemen have died in Colombia in efforts to curb drug trafficking, according to the National Police.
The commander of Bogota’s Public Security unit, General Jorge Nieto, released this information to the press in anticipation of the 32nd International Conference for Drug Control on Monday. More than 125 countries will join this conference in the Caribbean city of Cartagena.
The dismantle of world’s three largest cartels; Medellin, Cali and Norte de la Valle happened in the 90s and early 2000s. These have since been replaced with what authorities refer to as “baby cartels” that continue drug cultivation and trafficking in Colombia.
Driven by these emerging drug trafficking groups, most stemming from the AUC paramilitary group, coca cultivation went up approximately 20% last year, according to the country’s Ministry of Defense. The US reported even higher growth rates.
Colombia’s Minister of Justice Yesid Reyes called on the UN to debate radical changes in global drug policies, including decriminalization and softer punishment for minor offenses.
In the General Assembly meeting next year members will be looking for “new approaches” to internal drug production, trafficking and consumption. These new statistics furthermore highlight the current policies as “inadequate and insufficient” as previously stated by the Colombian Minister.