News briefing – Week of 10 July

  • According to new figures from the UNODC, Colombia is witnessing a significant upsurge in coca bush cultivation and cocaine production. In 2016, 866 tonnes of cocaine were produced and 146.000 hectares of coca crops were cultivated, in comparison to the 649 tonnes and 96.000 hectares in 2015. Coca cultivation increased by 52% within a year and is now back to the same levels as in 2001. The Colombian government pledged to eradicate 100.000 ha of coca by the end of the year and is encouraging substitutive plantations.
  • According to a 3-year long study funded by the National Council of Science and Technology, Paraguay’s left wing guerrilla group, The Paraguayan People’s Army, is not linked to drug trafficking in the country. The study asserts that the group has other sources of funding (mainly the ‘revolutionary tax’ imposed in territories under its influence) and that the conservative government has used the guerrilla group as a pretext to criminalise campesinos fighting for their right to land.