Colombia has banned fumigation in the forest

The ban on the use of poisonous herbicides has led to an oversupply of the drug in the European market

The pharmaceutical market is facing a busy and unusual situation these days. On one side drug smugglers are celebrating unprecedented overproduction of cocaine In the last decade. On the other hand, there are so many medicines in the European market Its price has almost halved, Both incidents occurred, in part, for an unexpected reason: Colombia’s ban on chemical spraying.

Context. The amount of cocaine entering Spain’s shores is increasing. This month in Cambray, La Coruña, Udico of the National Police and agents of the Customs Surveillance Service (SVA) seized almost 8 tons of cocaine that entered through the port of Vigo Tuna hidden in containers. It is one of the largest reserves in the history of Galicia.

Although the peninsula has been one of Europe’s largest gateways for cocaine from Latin America for decades, authorities have warned that Spain has broken another record for seizures of the drug this year: 20,000 kg more by 2022When the number was already quite large.

Proof: Its Price, But due to the current avalanche, the continent is not able to consume all the cocaine produced by Colombia. And, as a result, with so many offers, the product has been devalued, A clear indication of the rampant entry of this drug into the country. As explained by Fernando Alonso, manager of the Galician Foundation against drug trafficking This ABC articleIf two decades ago the price of a kilo of Colombian cocaine in Galicia reached 30,000 euros, now it costs about 17,000 euros.

Because This phenomenon has a global and, what is even more surprising, an ecological explanation. Behind this excessive production of cocaine, in addition to the increase in hectares of cultivation earmarked for this purpose, is Colombia’s recent ban on aerial glyphosate spraying (a poisonous chemical) against illegal coca leaf crops. The government imposed this measure with the aim of preventing the loss of vegetation cover because its chemical content was altering the ecosystem.

This herbicide is believed to be carcinogenic Causes land pollution and harms wildlife Who lives in areas where coca leaves are grown. Although one of the objectives of using this product was to eliminate illegal crops, the Council of State of Colombia understands that this was not done in the most appropriate way as it was also affecting the environment. Drug traffickers in the region did not anticipate that this measure would lead to an increase in drug production and that its direct effect would be a sharp drop in the price of the product due to abundant supply.

Cocaine crop eradicators in Taraza, Colombia.

free path for drug trafficking, It should be borne in mind that this fumigation was until now the only way to destroy cocaine crops, most of them hidden in remote and wooded areas, very difficult to reach by land. Now this is done manually, which takes more time and risk. According to Colombian officials, the road is not only filled with former guerrillas who controlled the area, but The land is filled with explosive mines As a preventive strategy. According to the “Descontamina Colombia” database, 74 civilians were injured by anti-personnel mines from March 2020 to February 2021.

Spain, the key to the market. In recent years, our country has become a Necessary enclave for cocaine market in Europe, because most drug traffickers bring it to the continent through peninsular ports. Much of this scheme is carried out by Albanian, Serbian and Croatian mafias, such as the so-called Balkan Cartel, which has recently expanded and already controls shipments from similar plantations in Latin America to distribution in Europe.

According to officials, in recent months, drug trafficking organizations have been taking advantage of the political instability and social crisis that Ecuador is going through. highway to transport goods The supply of cocaine to Europe via the Guayas River, a direct link to the Pacific Ocean and the starting point to reach European ports. Although the Spaniards of Algeciras, Valencia and Barcelona are some of the favorite “sneakers” for drug traffickers, The podium is still led by those from Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).,

Image: Flickr (Colombian National Police) / Agénía Prensa Rural

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