Cocaine production soars | The USA Print

Between 2020 and 2021, coca cultivation increased by 35%, according to a report of the UN Posted this Thursday. The document indicates that in 2021 there were more than 300,000 hectares of coca plantations in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, the three countries where the cultivation fields are concentrated, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“Huge changes” in the agricultural industry

How do you explain this 2021 record? Improvements in the coca transformation process is one of the keys, he explained to RFI Francisco Thoumi, member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the World Drug Report: “That happened in Colombia long before. Production, productivity has increased. Content cocaine on the bush, on the leaves it has increased. In Colombia there have been times when crops are reduced and production increases. And that is happening. It has happened in Peru and Bolivia as well. That is to say, it is the most normal thing, because the agricultural industry in the world has undergone enormous changes in the last 100 years”.

In addition to the expansion of coca bush cultivation, the UNODC explains this strong increase by “improvements in the transformation process” of the coca bush into hydrochloride cocaine. Once collected, the leaves are delivered to chemists who mix them with gasoline, lime, cement, and ammonium sulfate to obtain a white paste. This paste is then enriched with a cocktail of acids and solvents.

“In Peru the government has had more territorial control than in Colombia, but in recent years control has been greatly weakened with all the political changes that have taken place, that is, six presidents in five years and most of them in jail,” stresses.

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New drug trafficking routes

Along with Colombia and Peru, Bolivia is another of the countries that concentrates the fields of coca crops. “The peasants who arrived in the Chapare came from the mountains and were organized in ‘unions’ that had quite rigorous rules of behavior, there was order. I suspect that since Evo had to leave, social controls have decreased substantially and this allows for easier increases in illicit crops”, comments Thoumi.

The demand is constantly increasing. In the last decade, new drug trafficking routes have appeared, such as southeastern Europe and Africa: “In the case of Africa, I think that with all the migration, a number of illegal transport networks have arisen that have possibly also facilitated drug trafficking. drugs. The same networks that exist for human trafficking can be used for anything else”, details the expert.

In 2021, seizures of cocaine they reached the record figure of almost 2,000 tons of drugs.

RFI is a current French radio, broadcast worldwide in French and 15 other languages, through 156 FM repeaters on medium and short waves on about thirty satellites to destinations on five continents, on the Internet and in connected applications, which It has more than 2,000 associated radio stations that broadcast its programs.

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