The United Nations reveals a dramatic rise in global consumption of cocaine News -

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its annual report that global cocaine production reached its highest level in 2017, surpassing the previous record high of 25 percent as Colombian production increased.

New remote fields and criminal gangs have boosted production in the country's largest supplier, despite efforts to drive rural communities away from coca cultivation after a peace deal with FARC rebels.

It's bad news for producing countries … What's happening in Colombia is worrying, "said Anguilla Mi, head of research at the Vienna-based UN office.

The jump in production "was driven mainly by an increase in the production of cocaine in Colombia, which produced an estimated 70 percent of cocaine in the world," the report said.

In the 10 years before 2017, there was a 50 percent increase in manufacturing, reaching a record high of 1,976 tonnes two years ago, according to the report, based on national monitoring systems.

In 2017, authorities seized around the world a record amount of drugs totaling 1275 tons, a rise of 13 percent over the previous year. "This indicates that law enforcement efforts are becoming more effective and that strengthening international cooperation may help in the control operations," the report said.

About 90 percent of the seizures were in the Americas, and in Colombia alone it accounted for 38 percent of the total in 2017.

The production of cocaine in some of Colombia's interior regions has declined following the conclusion of a 2016 peace agreement with the former rebel FARC, with alternative farmer farming.

But since then, Colombia has reported an increase in coca cultivation in new fields, often far from major cities, that are being planted as criminal groups move in areas previously under rebel control, the report said.

HZ / WB (AFP)

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