Plan to eradicate 110,000 hectares of coca in Colombia this year
"We have a plan that if it works we will stop being the first producer of cocaine in the world, a plan that we have to give it time to produce results, that this year with the experience we already have and that of last year could mean that 110,000 hectares of coca cease to exist on the face of Colombia. "
That is the goal of eradicating illicit crops, which, according to President Juan Manuel Santos, will be achieved this year with the voluntary replacement of 40,000 hectares of coca and the forced eradication of a total of 70,000.
He pointed out that with these hectares eradicated, this year alone more than 50 percent of the reduction plan defined until 2023 would be fulfilled, in which the country undertook to do more eradication, interdiction, control over reseeding and use of new technologies.
Part of the strategy to achieve this will be the reactivation of fumigation with glyphosate by means of drones and 'caterpillars' (small tractors), which according to the president guarantee the protection of health and the environment, since they allow sprinkling from a height similar to the one of the terrestrial fumigation.
"This is a terrestrial spraying, which is similar to what we are already doing, when the eradicators go with some tanks on their shoulders," the President said Tuesday after the meeting of the National Council of Narcotic Drugs.
Coca eradication goal is 110,000 hectares for this year
Almost half of the coca produced in 2017 was seized
Santos insisted that despite the challenges the country faces for crop growth - the United States said this week that crops reached 209,000 hectares in 2017 - in recent years "unprecedented" results have been achieved, such as the seizure of 2,000 tons of pure cocaine, 342 of coca base, 5,500 of coca leaf and 2,300 of marijuana.
The fight against drug trafficking has concentrated to a great extent, according to Santos, on attacking the strongest links in the business; that is, those that generate the most impact within criminal organizations. In that regard, he noted that 1,156 people have been extradited for crimes associated with drug trafficking.
Other of the advances that he highlighted have to do with the strengthening of regulations, as measures against money laundering, corruption and rules for the extinction of ownership have been promoted.
This is a terrestrial spraying, which is similar to what we are already doing, when the eradicators go with some tanks on their shoulders
Attacking the consumption
Santos emphasized that more international commitment is needed to attack the consumption of narcotics, because as the report presented by the United States says Monday, coca consumers grew 81 percent between 2013 and 2017 in that country alone.
"The consuming countries also have the obligation to reduce consumption, to attack the organizations of drug trafficking, money laundering and those that distribute the drug in their own countries," Santos concluded.More stories by Newser-nmdpd1szbc