In Summary

  • Oil exports posted a drop of 30%
  • Cocaine trade has consistently risen

Cocaine Production is on the brink of overtaking oil as Colombia’s top export as the government embraces a more lenient drug policy. This is according to estimates by Bloomberg economics.

Oil exports recorded a dramatic 30% drop in the first half of this year while the cocaine trade has continued its steady ascent

READ ALSO:Kenyan woman arrested with Cocaine in Hong Kong

Economist Felipe Hernandez, a leading voice at Bloomberg, emphasized the significance of this shift.

“We estimate that income from cocaine exports will increase to $18.2 billion in 2022, not far from oil exports of $19.1 billion last year,” he said

“The Government is destroying laboratories where “Coca leaves are transformed into cocaine, but that has not prevented production from growing,”

In 2022, cocaine production in Colombia reached an all-time high of 1,738 tons this surge in production was accompanied by a 13% increase in the area of land planted with coca, the raw material for cocaine manufacturing, when compared to 2021.

Government’s Intervention

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published these alarming statistics in a report released during the second week of September.

Colombia’s president Gustavo Petro decided to adopt a new approach to tackle the drug trade in his country. Instead of targeting the weakest link in the production chain, the coca leaf producers, he has shifted his focus to dismantling the drug lords who profit the most from the narcotics international sales.

Speaking at a conference with other Latin American and Caribbean countries recently, the president acknowledged that his approach to the fight against drugs in his country had indeed failed

READ ALSO: Kenyan woman arrested with 2.5 kilograms of cocaine at an Indian airport

But he insisted that instead of focusing on eradicating cocaine production, consumer countries should try to reduce demand and pointed his finger directly at the United States, the EU and the UN.

“We are afraid to say that you, who have the most users of these drugs, are wrong,”he said


September 15, 2023

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