June 20, 2009 |
Colombia's coca crop shrank by nearly 20% last year while cultivation rose for a third straight year in Peru and Bolivia, the world's two other coca-producing nations, the United Nations said Friday. The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime said the 18% reduction in Colombia, the world's top cocaine producer, from 2007 was owed in part to record manual eradication of 371 square miles of the bush, the leaves of which are used to produce cocaine.
December 27, 2008 |
Cocaine repels most insects -- which is why the coca plant makes the chemical in the first place. But in a surprising new finding, U.S. and Australian researchers reported Friday that honeybees are susceptible to the drug's insidious lure. They become addicted, and even suffer withdrawal symptoms when they no longer have access.
June 19, 2008 |
Colombian peasants devoted about 27% more land to growing coca last year, the United Nations reported Wednesday, calling the increase a surprise given the intense efforts to eradicate cocaine's raw ingredient. Estimated cocaine production, however, increased only slightly in Colombia and other Andean nations as cultivation shifted to smaller, less productive plots in more remote locations. About 1,096 tons was produced in 2007, compared with 1,085 tons the year before, according to the U.N.
February 25, 2008 |
Nature photographer Aldo Brando saw a horrible beauty in the destruction visited upon Colombia's national parks by outlaw coca growers. As his helicopter slalomed through a dozen sky-high columns of smoke from fires set by poachers clearing Macarena National Park, Brando saw endless "craters" of lime-green coca. He likened the park's once unbroken carpet of dark green primeval forest, now scarred by roads, fires and illegal chemicals, to "the black-and-white palette of war."
June 5, 2007 |
Despite widespread spraying of defoliants financed by the U.S., total acreage of coca cultivated in Colombia rose 19% in 2006 compared with 2005, according to an annual survey by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The report stresses that much of the gain may be attributed to an expansion of the area included in the survey, which is done by satellite, airplane and on the ground.
February 8, 2007 |
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has found a novel way to dispense foreign aid: by promising to underwrite coca production in Bolivia. Officials here confirmed Wednesday that Venezuela would buy whatever legal products Bolivia could make from coca leaf, as part of that central Andean nation's attempt to wean farmers from the cocaine industry. Chavez's promise could finance the production of about 4,000 tons of coca in Bolivia, Venezuelan officials say.