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Colombia coca production still at record high: US report
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The amount of land in Colombia being used to harvest coca — the plant used to make cocaine — is still at a record high despite a renewed campaign to eradicate the plant, according to new data released by the White House on March 5.
Coca cultivation reached 212,000 hectares last year, a rise of nearly 2% from 208,000 hectares the year before, according to the figures. Potential pure cocaine production, meanwhile, rose to 951 metric tons, an 8% increase.
The findings come as Colombia is facing increasing pressure from the Trump administration to dramatically reduce coca production. President Ivan Duque has made quashing the drug trade one of the main policies of his administration, but the new data suggest his efforts are not diminishing the problem.
Coca production in Colombia, the world's biggest cocaine producer, has been steadily increasing since 2013, when peace negotiations with the now demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia got underway.