Bloomberg — Colombian cocaine output surged to a record last year, with the drug flooding into new markets and fueling violence across the planet.
Satellite photos show the amount of land planted with coca, the raw material for making the drug, rose to 230,000 hectares (570,000 acres), in 2022, up 13% from the previous year.
That’s enough to produce 1,700 tons of refined cocaine, the most ever, according to a report published Monday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
The supply glut has led to rising purity in Europe and the US, and a surge in seizures everywhere from Africa, to Asia to Eastern Europe. And it has turned once-peaceful Ecuador into one of the most violent countries in the world, as cartels fight for control of ports and routes.
Gustavo Petro took power as Colombian president last August, saying that the decades-old war on drugs pursued by Washington and Bogota has failed, and promising a new approach.
His government is currently seeking talks with the nation’s main drug-trafficking groups, in the hope of ending six decades of civil conflict though peace accords.
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