LIMA, Peru — Colombia surpassed Peru last year in land under coca cultivation, with Peru experiencing a 14 per cent drop in acreage for the plant used to make cocaine, according to UN data released Wednesday.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s annual report on Peruvian coca’s crop said it encompassed 42,900 hectares. It’s the crop’s fourth straight year of decline and the smallest area under cultivation since 1998.
The finding does not necessarily mean Colombia is now the world’s No. 1 cocaine producer, however. Much of Peru’s crop is more mature and higher yielding, having never been subjected to eradication.
Peru’s government does not destroy coca in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley, the world’s leading coca-growing region, citing security concerns. The size of Belgium and Israel
combined, the valley accounts for 68 per cent of Peru’s coca crop.
Last year, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala suspended…
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