UN findings come a day after Colombian President Gustavo Petro known as for a brand new method to fight drug trafficking.
Colombia has set a new record for the cultivation of the coca leaf, which is used to fabricate cocaine, a United Nations report has discovered.
The UN Workplace on Medicine and Crime (UNODC) said on Monday that 230,000 hectares (568,340 acres) of land had been planted with coca final yr throughout the South American nation – a 13 p.c enhance from 2021.
Potential cocaine output additionally rose 24 p.c to about 1.73 million kilogrammes (1,738 tonnes), the workplace discovered.
These had been the best numbers for the reason that UN started monitoring in 2001.
“It’s worrying that every yr there is a rise in coca crops within the nation,” UNODC’s regional director, Candice Welsch, mentioned throughout a presentation of the report.
Colombia has lengthy been the world’s greatest producer of cocaine, a extremely addictive drug that’s unlawful in most nations, and it has confronted strain, notably from america, to crack down on manufacturing.
However authorities efforts to get farmers to move away from illegal coca crops have confronted a sequence of challenges, together with a scarcity of promised subsidies and different incentives. Many poor Colombians concerned in coca farming say they haven’t any different alternative.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who has known as the battle on medicine “irrational”, has proposed regulating narcotics, increasing voluntary crop substitution programmes, focusing enforcement on drug gang management and growing social funding in manufacturing areas.
Most lately, on Saturday, Petro known as for an alliance between Latin American nations to carry a unified voice to the struggle towards drug trafficking.
He proposed recognising drug consumption as a public well being downside as a substitute of confronting it with what he known as a “failed” militarised method.
“What I suggest is to have a unique and unified voice that defends our society, our future and our historical past and stops repeating a failed discourse,” Petro mentioned in a speech to shut the Latin American and Caribbean Convention on Medicine, held within the Colombian metropolis of Cali.
“It’s time to rebuild hope and never repeat the bloody and ferocious wars, the ill-named ‘battle on medicine’, viewing medicine as a navy downside and never as a well being downside for society.”
In keeping with Monday’s UN report, almost two-thirds of Colombia’s coca crops are grown within the southern departments of Narino and Putumayo, bordering Ecuador – itself battling a scourge of drug gang-related violence – and in North Santander on the border with Venezuela.
Round half of Colombia’s drug crops are present in Indigenous reserves, forest reserves and pure parks, in keeping with the report.
A lot of the sector is managed by armed teams, together with these led by left-wing fighters, right-wing paramilitaries or drug cartels.
The Colombian authorities has mentioned it’s set to undertake a brand new drug coverage quickly geared toward dismantling prison organisations with the least doable hurt to poor, rural producers.