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Coca Cultivation in Colombia Broke Record in 2022

  • Colombia recorded the highest historical level of coca cultivation for the second consecutive year. Sep. 11, 2023.

    Colombia recorded the highest historical level of coca cultivation for the second consecutive year. Sep. 11, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@Diario_ElDia

Published 11 September 2023 (2 hours 31 minutes ago)
Opinion

The report also revealed that there is coca in 185 of Colombia's 1,122 municipalities and that the locality with the most crops is Tibú, in Norte de Santander.

Coca cultivation grew by 13% in Colombia and stood at 230,000 hectares in 2022 with 204,000 in the previous year. This is the highest historical figure for the second consecutive year.

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According to the data provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Unodc) in its annual report, there is also an increase in potential cocaine production, which advanced by 24%.

"For the second year in a row, coca cultivation reached an all-time high in Colombia," said the report says noting that it is 26,000 hectares cultivated more than the 204,000 in 2021.

Unodc revealed that there was a 24% increase in the potential production of cocaine hydrochloride, since last year it was 1,738 tons and in 2021 it had been 1,400 tons.

The tweet reads, "The United Nations reported that coca leaf cultivation in Colombia registered a new record high in 2022. They went from 204,000 hectares in 2021 to 230,000 hectares in 2022. The increase comes in parallel to the launch of the Petro government's new drug policy."

In this regard, Leonardo Correa, coordinator of the Integrated Illicit Crop Monitoring System (SIMCI) said in the presentation of the report that "the rate of increase in the area planted was reduced, we went from growing at a rate of 40-something percent to a rate of 13%, but potential cocaine production grew quite a bit." 

According to the organization, "the trend of increasing potential cocaine production continues as a result of more hectares planted with coca, fields in more productive ages and located in areas with higher productivity."

The increase was strongly concentrated in Putumayo department bordering Ecuador and Peru, which accounts for 77% of the advance of crops in the whole country.

65% of coca cultivation is concentrated in three departments: Nariño (bordering Ecuador), Norte de Santander (bordering Venezuela) and Putumayo.

The report also revealed that there is coca in 185 of Colombia's 1,122 municipalities and that the locality with the most crops is Tibú, in Norte de Santander, with 22,000 hectares. It is followed by Tumaco (Nariño) and Puerto Asís (Putumayo).

Unodc also said that 49% of the crops are located in special management zones, distributed in National Natural Parks (21.5 %), indigenous reserves (18 %), black communities' lands (4 %) and forest reserves (2 %).

Regarding the work of the government of Colombian President Gustavo Petro in the fight against drugs, the report indicates that in 2022, 20% more tons of cocaine base paste were seized, but cocaine seizures fell by 1.5%. The number of illegal laboratories dismantled by the authorities also fell by 18%, from 5,750 in 2021 to 4,707 in 2022.

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