September 28, 2006

CSM Drug War Series Part II

Plan Colombia: Big gains, but cocaine still flows. That is the title of today’s segement. Despite billions of dollars an lives spent the supply of drugs flowing from Columbia still increased last year.

Dana Harman at The Christian Science Monitor: In total, since the eradication program began in 1994 (and particularly since it was ramped up in 2000), 986,925 hectares of coca plant and opium poppy have been destroyed— an area equivalent to the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Drug seizures are another pillar of the plan, and here too, there are results. Two hundred and twenty five tons of cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base were seized in 2005, up from 125 tons in 2002, and the number of clandestine drug labs destroyed soared to nearly 2,000 last year from 317 in 2000, according to a July study by Colombia’s National Narcotics Directorate (DNE).

Despite these unprecedented eradication efforts, coca cultivation actually increased last year by 8 percent, to 86,000 hectares, according to a study released in June by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). More significantly, the amount of cocaine being produced is also increasing. According to DNE Colombia produced 776 metric tons of cocaine last year, 231 more than previous US estimates, and enough to supply almost 80 percent of the entire world market.

By Howie at 10:05 AM | Comments |