Peru has again become the top producer of pure cocaine in the world, outpacing Colombia, where output fell by an estimated 25 percent in a year, according to a White House report issued Monday.
Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Monday that potential cocaine production in Colombia was down by 72 percent since 2001. Colombia now ranks third, behind Bolivia in addition to Peru.
“Potential production of pure cocaine in Colombia is down to 195 metric tons (in 2011) from 700 metric tons in 2001, the lowest production potential level since 1994 and the first time since 1995 that Colombia is producing less cocaine than either Peru or Bolivia,” Kerlikowske said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Kerlikowske said the decline in Colombian cocaine production is largely the result of Plan Colombia, a $7.5 billion U.S.-backed effort launched in 1999 to help the South American government crack down on a left-wing insurgency and drug organizations.