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South America's Cocaine Industry in on the Decline, Impacting the International Drug Market

First Posted: Mar 09, 2015 05:33 PM EDT
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South America's cocaine industry is losing speed, according to recent reports, which suggests Colombia and Peru has seen a decline in production.

Colombia's drug industry has been appraised at more than $10 billion, and the cultivation of coca has contributed to the worldwide movement and consumption of drugs, particularly in the U.S. Likewise, Peru, a nation that overtook Colombia as the world's leading coca and cocaine producer, has a transnational crime network that produces 340 tons of cocaine annually, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). But, both nations seem to be losing gusto.

According to the United Nations, Peru's position as the No. 1 coca and cocaine exporter is fleeting. In recent years, crop levels dropped in Peru, and Bolivia's crops have diminished. And even though Colombia's level of crops have not changed, the nation has the highest number of drug busts and seizures in South America. However, seizures also have dipped 5 percent since last year.

According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), South American land covered by the coca plant dropped by a third in the last seven years. And though Colombia's cocaine territory is unchanged, production dropped by 25 percent between 2012 and 2013. Crop reduction signifies an impact on Colombia's economics of cocaine capitalism and its international consumer markets. And this has translated to lowered availability of Western Europe and U.S; it's tremendously low compared to its highest point.

The INCB has insisted that the Integral and Sustainable Alternative Development program has contributed to Peru's recent decline. It's an initiative that's been credited with decreasing the household production of the coca bush by 35 percent in the last three years.

According to Colombia Reports, the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, publicized a pilot program to address illegal crop substitutions in Putumayo to take effect in April 2015. He claimed fumigation wouldn't be necessary. Instead, the plan will integrate reparations through the Victims' Unit and with infrastructure improvements, reported newspaper El Espectador. Drug consumption and public health will also be addressed.

Also, Colombian officials and FARC have come to the agreement that the FARC will abandon drug trade and trafficking to facilitate their legalization as a political association.

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