Crime & Justice

Colombia eradicates 103,100 hectares of coca in 2021

San Pablo, Colombia, Dec 30 (EFE).- Colombia has eradicated 103,100 hectares of coca in 2021, Defense Minister Diego Molano said Thursday, highlighting the government’s efforts to combat organized crime.

“There are 103,100 hectares eradicated so far. The government of President [Iván] Duque has eradicated more than 350,000 hectares (so far …) to combat the entire chain of drug trafficking,” Molano told journalists on a visit to the municipality of San Pablo, in the Caribbean department of Bolivar.

The defense minister added that 659 tons of cocaine were also seized and more than 5,700 drug laboratories were destroyed.

“Those are the blows to the drug trafficking chain, which is what feeds the illegal armed groups that operate in areas like this municipality,” Molano said in reference to FARC dissidents and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

These results, according to the minister, prevented “more than 1.6 billion doses of cocaine from reaching the US and European markets.”

“Drug trafficking continues to be the worst threat to Colombia and affects all Colombians. It must continue to be fought because it is the source that feeds groups such as the FARC and ELN dissidents,” the minister stressed.

Coca cultivation in Colombia was reduced in 2020 to 143,000 hectares, 7 percent smaller than in 2019, according to the annual report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented on June 9 in Bogotá.

At the end of October, the US announced a new strategy to combat drugs in Colombia, with its pillars being the reduction of production, the development of rural areas and the protection of the environment. EFE


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