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Weekly Report - 25 June 2020 (WR-20-25)

COLOMBIA: Duque hails ‘progress’ in drug war

Colombia’s President Iván Duque seized upon figures released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) last week to claim that his government is making progress in eradicating coca crops. Colombia’s total coca cultivation fell by 9% from 169,000 hectares (ha) to 154,000 ha in 2019, according to the UNODC, prompting Duque to celebrate “the biggest reduction of illicit crops in the last six years in our country”. It is a fillip for Duque, who has been publicly rebuked by his US peer Donald Trump for insufficient progress in reducing coca cultivation. Duque did not dwell on other figures showing an increase in potential cocaine production. Meanwhile, the struggle for control of areas where illicit crops are being cultivated remains as fierce as ever, as attested by the turf wars between illegal armed groups and the unrelenting murder of demobilised guerrillas.

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