According to a 2018 estimate released today by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia remains high but is leveling off.
The estimate states coca cultivation in Colombia saw a minor decrease in 2018 to 208,000 hectares from 209,000 hectares in 2017. Similarly, potential pure cocaine production also saw a minor decrease in 2018 to 887 pure metric tons from 900 pure metric tons in 2017. Although coca cultivation in Colombia remained at historically high levels in 2018, it was the first year the crop did not increase since 2012.
“In working closely with President Duque, we are seeing Colombia make progress in accomplishing our shared goal of significantly reducing coca cultivation and cocaine production. The partnership between our two countries must remain strong as we fight to meet our objectives, crack down on those profiting off the drug trade, and stop the flow of deadly drugs coming into America,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said.
Since taking office in August 2018, President Iván Duque has increased Colombia’s counter-narcotics efforts, targeting cocaine labs and traffickers, and quadrupling the number of teams to eradicate 56 percent more coca per month than under the previous government.
Drug traffickers move large quantities of cocaine from Colombia to the United States, most often across the Southwest border. Between 2014 and 2017, cocaine-involved overdose deaths rose nearly 160 percent, and the number of current cocaine users increased by 40 percent from 1.53 million to 2.17 million.