The Colombian police have suspended the destruction of coca plantations for the time being.
Farmers are the weakest link in the drug trade, new police chief Henry Sanabria told the El Tiempo newspaper today. The fight against the people behind will continue.
“The pursuit of the illegal organizations involved in this criminal business continues to apprehend the individuals we have linked to the drug trade,” Sanabria said.
Along with Peru and Bolivia, Colombia has one of the largest percentages of cocaine in the world. Last year, 234,000 hectares of coca plants were planted. In recent years, the destruction of the plantations by the security forces has increased steadily. Last year, 103,000 hectares of coca bushes were destroyed.
Various criminal syndicates and splinter groups of the guerrilla organization FARC and the rebel group ELN are active in the drug trade in the South American country. For many farmers, growing co-ca plants is significantly more lucrative than legal farming. There are also repeated reports that criminal gangs are forcing farmers to grow co-ca plants.