The Bogota newspaper El Tiempo initially reported that the nation’s new police director, Gen. Henry Sanabria, stated throughout an interview that eradication operations had been suspended. The paper later reported that Sanabria’s communication group defined that Sanabria referred solely to aerial fumigation of coca crops, which was suspended in 2015.
Sanabria, who was named to the publish final week, stated through the internview that police try to reduce the affect of anti-narcotics insurance policies on individuals who “have the least duty for drug trafficking.”
His statements replicate the priorities of Colombia’s newly innaugurated president, Gustavo Petro, a leftist who stated throughout his marketing campaign that he desires to seek out new methods to combat drug trafficking, together with placing a larger emphasis on rural growth in areas which are nonetheless producing massive quantities of coca leaf, which is the fundamental ingredient in cocaine.
Beforehand, governments in Colombia set annual targets for eradicating coca crops, and deployed hundreds of police and troopers to distant components of the nation to manually pull coca bushes out of the bottom with shovels, or kill coca crops with crop dusters and most lately drones.
However forceful eradication operations have led to violent confrontations between police and farmers, who argue that the shortage of infrastructure in distant components of Colombia makes different crops economically unviable. Over time, dozens of law enforcement officials who participated in eradication operations have been killed by snipers or injured by landmines.
The eradication packages acquired monetary and technical help from the USA, however didn’t make a big dent on the cocaine commerce.
In accordance with the U.S. Workplace of Nationwide Drug Management Coverage, Colombia’s cocaine annual manufacturing potential rose from 273 tons in 2011 to 972 tons final yr. The company estimates the quantity of land used to develop coca tripled in the identical interval.
In his inauguration speech earlier this month, Petro stated that the “battle on medication had failed” and that it was time for nations around the globe to seek out new methods of addressing substances like cocaine.
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Nestor Osuna stated cocaine will proceed to be unlawful in Colombia although some permits might be granted to farmers who develop coca leaves for medicinal merchandise.
Osuna added that police and judges will deal with dismantling drug gangs and companies that launder cash for traffickers.