UN Data On Peru’s Coca Production To Be Released In August

United Nations data on coca cultivation in Peru in 2011 will be released in August, according to the representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Peru, Flavio Mirella.

The United Nations released its World Drug Report on Tuesday, but the data for cocaine production and coca crop cultivation areas was for 2010.

“The figures for Peru and Bolivia we will available in mid-August, and in March we will have information about new conversion factors,” said Mirella, state news agency Andina reported.

In 2010, the area under coca cultivation in Peru was 61,200 hectares, while in Colombia it was 62,000 hectares and in Bolivia it was 31,000 hectares, according to the United Nations.

Peru’s coca production, and its cocaine manufacturing, have increased considerably, and the U.S. government says it is now likely the biggest producer of the illicit drug.

Mirella, who was speaking to reporters at a global drug summit hosted by the Peruvian government this week, said that there has been an increase in cocaine consumption in some South American nations, while in more traditional “consumer” countries, like the United States and in Europe, consumption has decreased or stabilized.

For example, in North America, cocaine consumption has fallen almost 40 percent over the past four years, Mirella said.

“We can say that in Europe the consumption of cocaine has stabilized, while the consumption of this drug has increased on this continent, particularly in Argentina and Brazil,” he said.

International Conference ends

Meanwhile, the conference held in Lima this week — the International Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Specialized National Agencies against the World Drug Problem— ended with a statement by the 67+ participating countries recognizing the importance of shared responsibility and the need to work jointly to take concrete measures to “considerably reduce” both the supply and demand of drugs, emphasizing that cooperation is essential to confront organized crime and  money laundering as well as the production and illicit traffic of drugs.  

Hans Allden, head of the European Commission delegation to the conference,  said the European Union will be increasing its cooperation through a series of projects, given also that the drug problem is now more difficult and cannot be focused on only one country —cocaine is being smuggled into Europe but at the same time synthetic illicit drugs made in Europe are being brought into Peru and other Latin American countries.

Peru also announced that together with Thailand it will be hosting a meeting in Lima in November on proposals and incentives for alternative development, to be implemented in areas where farmers turn to coca as an easy cash crop.

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