Coca Production Down in Columbia but Up in Peru and Bolivia
Colombia's coca crop - the plants used to make cocaine - was down by almost 20% last year. However, coca cultivation went up for the third straight year in Peru and Bolivia, according to the United Nations.
Drug traffickers tend to focus on growing in countries where there is less police pressure and eradication, according to the U.N. agency representative for Colombia, Aldo Lale-Demoz.
He also says the trend toward Peru is particularly worrisome because they are being overtaken by international cartels, particularly Mexican drug cartels. And we all know what a mess Mexico is right now with record drug violence and police corruption.
Crop eradication was down by more than 10% in both Bolivia and Peru. The United States has been complaining that Bolivia is no longer serious about combating drugs - in fact, they expelled U.S. drug agents last year.
Cocaine production in Colombia, a major recipient of U.S. anti-drug aid, was down an estimated 28% last year.