Colombia’s voluntary crop substitution program has seen almost 35,000 hectares of coca crops destroyed in just eight months, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), showing the popularity of this strategy at a time when President Iván Duque is pushing for forced eradication.
Colombia’s Constitutional Court is debating lifting a judicial ban on the spraying of glyphosate during the controversial aerial fumigation of illicit coca crops, a decision that is unlikely to fix the Andean nation’s coca problems but one that will surely impact the trajectory of future anti-drug operations.
A drop in coffee prices is forcing hundreds of Peruvian farmers to seek work in coca plantations-a sign that the country, like its neighbor Colombia, is seeing a boom in coca cultivation.
With a well-known route through the Southern Cone decimated and authorities combing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, drug traffickers are turning to the Pacific Ocean to ship their illicit wares to North America.
When Colombian President Iván Duque announced his new security plan, he told the media that security “shouldn’t be confused with war.” In his actual plan, however, that distinction seems to be of little importance.
Colombia’s new government plans to deploy an ambitious program to forcefully eradicate illicit crops, stoking fears for the future of a crop substitution program that has been limping along since its creation following the country’s 2016 peace agreement.
While traditional criminal organizations have widened their portfolios dramatically in recent years, drug trafficking remains the most important earner in the region. And with opioid consumption surging and cocaine production at a record high, the underworld is reaping the rewards and reshaping itself to fit the times.
Two years after the signing of a peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC, Colombia’s forests are under siege and experiencing heightened levels of deforestation promoted by various criminal actors looking to expand their illicit revenue streams.
Presidential elections in the two countries at the heart of Latin America's drug trade both brought significant change in 2018: Colombians responded to a cocaine boom by voting for a return to hard-line security policies, while Mexicans reacted to record-high violence by voting to take the "war" out of the “war on drugs.”
Colombia’s newly announced proposals to disrupt drug production by cutting access to power sources and alkaloids to rural areas might sound innovative on paper but are unlikely to have a major impact on the drug trade and may end up hurting long-suffering residents.
A new report says that global drug policy over the last decade has failed demonstrably in curbing illegal drug markets or reducing drug production, underscoring the need for new strategies and raising questions about whether or not there is enough momentum to enact such change.