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Colombia says coca growth down 13 pct in 2010

09 may 2011, 12:39
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A Colombian anti-drug policeman and a dog walk at a coca plantation in Chagui. Reuters©
A Colombian anti-drug policeman and a dog walk at a coca plantation in Chagui. Reuters©
Colombia slashed its area of coca cultivation by 13 percent and cocaine production by 12 percent in 2010, Interior Minister German Vargas has said, citing numbers from an upcoming UN report, AFP reports.

"The United Nations says that the Colombia government's efforts have been successful," Vargas said Thursday, referring to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime's 2010 report on the cultivation of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.

"The continuous and ongoing efforts of the police and armed forces to increase their territorial control has led to the progressive elimination of illegal crops, the seizure of tons of cocaine and, in general, the dismantling of all the links up the chain of drug trafficking," Vargas said.

He said the conclusions of the report would be presented to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during the G8 summit in France next week in order to urge more cooperation from wealthy countries in the fight against drugs.

Colombia remains the largest cocaine producer in the world but has been recognized for making progress against drugs, most recently in March, when the United Nations said it had dropped it from its "special observation list."


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