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Coca eradication will be a struggle in Colombia

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Subject

Coca production.

Significance

On April 2, police announced they had seized over 6 tonnes of cocaine, bound for Spain, at the port of Barranquilla. The seizure -- worth an estimated 213 million dollars -- is one of Colombia's largest ever and belonged to the Urabenos crime group. The discovery follows announcements by both the UN and the US government in early March of large increases in the amount of coca being cultivated in Colombia. According to the US figures, the 2016 crop -- an estimated 188,000 hectares -- was the largest in recorded history, suggesting that Colombia’s cocaine problem could far outlive its peace process.

Impacts

  • The large coca crop may result in lower cocaine prices in Europe and the United States, where use has grown in recent years.
  • Crop substitution will be a long and expensive process, which could come under threat when Santos’s term ends in 2018.
  • Coca removal may have the adverse effect of raising exponentially the value of the coca that remains.

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