Cocaine production drops in Colombia

August 1, 2008 12:00 am

, Colombia,August 1 – Colombia’s share of the world production of cocaine has dropped by more than half over the past six years, National Police Chief Oscar Naranjo said.

Naranjo, speaking on Thursday at an anti-drug summit, said that in 2002, when President Alvaro Uribe first took office, Colombia produced 90 percent of the world’s cocaine — but that has dropped today to 54 percent.

"That remains high," Naranjo acknowledged. He added: "Those results allow the country to look forward with optimism."

Naranjo said the drop in production was due to intense coca crop erradication efforts, destruction of cocaine laboratories, and persecution of drug organizations.

The figures have been certified by the United Nations and other international groups, Naranjo said.

Naranjo spoke at a gathering of foreign ministers of the Caribbean and Central America that are preparing a declaration on the fight against the drug trade.

Over the past six years Colombia’s armed forces have erradicated more than a million hectares of illegal crops, mainly coca and heroin, Naranjo said.

According to Colombian police, in the first quarter of 2008 some 74 tonnes of cocaine were seized.


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