Colombia Sprays Record Drug Area 

Colombia Sprays Record Drug Area 
Posted by CN Staff on December 23, 2004 at 12:45:55 PT
By Jeremy McDermott, BBC News, Medellin 
Source: BBC News UK
The Colombian anti-narcotics police have announced that a record number of drug crops were sprayed during 2004. The anti-narcotics police, financed by the US, sprayed more than 130,000 hectares of both coca and poppy, the raw material for cocaine and heroin. But Colombian drugs appear cheaper than ever in the US and Europe, suggesting that supply has not been hit. The US authorities say this is due to drug stockpiles that the traffickers have been gradually selling off.
However, there could be another explanation, that drug crops are being grown in much smaller fields, under the jungle canopy and therefore invisible to the satellites upon which the US and Colombian government base their estimates. New StrainsThe drug farmers have learned from the repeated government spraying offensive. Now their fields are smaller than three hectares, the minimum target needed for a spray plane. They are also using new strains of coca which produce more cocaine per hectare. For every tactic the authorities employ, the drugs traffickers come up with way of countering it. But now, with drugs being grown in tiny fields, the only way to eradicate them will be manually and that means taking on the Marxist guerrillas and right wing paramilitaries that guard the fields. This needs resources that the Colombian government at the moment simply does not have. Newshawk: PotpalSource: BBC News (UK Web) Author: Jeremy McDermott, BBC News, Medellin Published: Thursday, December 23, 2004Copyright: 2004 BBC Website: Contact: newsonline Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Czar: No Impact from Effort in Colombia Wage Drug War from Colombia's Skies Colombia Fails To Cut Supply of Drugs
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