Colombia's cocaine production decreases, though production of base ingredient remains level
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/27/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Cocaine production in Colombia has seen a slight drop, down 6% in 2013, the lowest figure on record. However, a United Nations report published on June 26 noted that the planting of the raw material used to make the drug, coca, has remained stable.
Members of Colombia's Marxist rebel organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which have utilized the drug trade to fund their five-decade-long war against the Colombian government.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Colombia is one of the world's top producers of cocaine, but production was down to 290 tonnes in 2013, as apposed to 309 tonnes produced in 2012. At its height in 2005, the nation produced 680 tonnes.
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The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime and Colombia's justice ministry reported that coca plantations have remained as large in that same time frame, covering 58,000 hectares of the country in 2013, the same number as in 2012.
Colombia has been beleaguered by a drug war for more than 50 years, caught in a three way war between Marxist rebels, conservative paramilitary groups, and the government. This conflict remains prevalent from drug funding and millions have been displaced and over 200,000 people have been killed.
Colombia's government has been in peace talks with the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) for about a year and have reached partial agreements on several topics, including stopping the illegal drug trade.
FARC has publicly admitted its involvement in the drugs trade, a crucial first step in the peace process, but talks with anti-Marxist and anti-government drug-trading paramilitary groups remain distant. A lasting peace between the government and FARC must first be approved via a referendum and then pass through Colombia's Congress.
Regardless of the drug war, prices of coca leaves have fallen 22% since 2013, a sign that price speculation and militant involvement via agents and new producers are taking their toll, the report suggested.
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