A report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reveals Colombia is now using a record high percentage of land in producing plant used to make cocaine. By the end of 2017 it has reached to 422,550 acres.
Compared to the area used in 2016 the increase is about 17 percent sticking to a longer trend. Since 2013 the added land has gone up about 45 percent each year and cocoa crops are now third more productive in the country.
The report matches to the earlier assessment by the United States, which considers the country as its biggest ally in the war on drugs. Pressure on Colombian President Ivan Duque was then increased to crack down on coca growers.
Colombian defense minister Guillermo Botero said the figures were of “deep worry” to them as the curve is permanently rising and has not yet reached to the inflection point.
Meanwhile, since 2000, United States has provided Colombia over $10.5 billion in aid in the war on drugs.
The released figures further revealed Colombia government failed to ever have control over the rebel-held territory even after a peace deal was signed in 2016 with the leftist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. This is one of the main reasons for the speedy rise of coca production in the country.
According to Adam Isacson, who studies security trends at the Washington Office on Latin America, after the deal signing the government failed to make proper required investment in the territory to wean thousands of poor Colombians who mostly rely on the coca crop.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to be visiting Colombia in his Latin America tour to discuss issues including the coca production.
Last month Nikki R. Haley, Trump’s United Nations ambassador, was sent to meet Duque during his oath taking ceremony as president and she found the principal concern for the new administration was to curb drug production.
Meanwhile, it is learned Duque is preparing a new plan to strengthen air, sea and land interception capacity in the fight against drugs by dismantling supply chain completely.
Details are yet to arrive but many say the government will increase the use of aerial fumigation.