Colombia’s cocaine production dropped 25 percent from the previous year, the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced Monday. Peru and Bolivia are now the world’s top producers of the drug.
USA Today reports the ONDCP’s estimates contradict newly released figures from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime that indicate cocaine production increased 3 percent in Colombia last year.
“While we don’t challenge the U.N. estimates, we believe that our estimates are informed by more sophisticated technology and a different methodology,” ONDCP said in a statement.
Overall, Colombia has experienced a 72 percent drop in cocaine pure production capacity since 2001, according to ONDCP. Last year, Colombia produced 195 metric tons of cocaine, compared with 325 metric tons in Peru and 265 metric tons in Bolivia.
ONDCP credited a number of factors with helping to reduce Colombia’s cocaine production. “These included strengthened democratic institutions, greater presence by the Government of Colombia throughout its territory, focused and persistent eradication, law enforcement efforts targeting drug trafficking organizations, improvements in the judicial system, alternative development, and increased foreign investment as a result of a significantly improved security environment,” ONDCP noted in a news release.
As Colombia’s production of cocaine is declining, the United States is seeing a decline in cocaine overdose deaths, cocaine seizures, positive workplace drug tests and retail drug purity, the report notes.
The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found the number of Americans ages 12 and older who currently use cocaine has dropped by 39 percent since 2006.