WASHINGTON — Colombia's capacity to produce cocaine fell by more than half in the past decade, according to the office of the US drug czar Thursday.
"There has been a sharp decrease in the amount of pure cocaine produced in Colombia... from an estimated 700 metric tons potential cocaine production in 2001 to 300 metric tons in 2010... a 57 percent drop," said a statement from the office of Gil Kerlikowske.
Colombian coca cultivation barely changed between 2009 and 2010 after major decreases in 2007 and 2008, it said. Colombia last year fumigated 101,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of coca and manually eradicated another 44,775.
Ninety-five percent of cocaine consumed in the United States comes from Colombia.
US cocaine consumption has dropped in recent years, with less positive test results in jails and workplaces, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The Obama administration unveiled a new drug-control policy that signaled a small shift in strategy, focusing more on prevention and treatment.
While seizures of cocaine at the US border with Mexico fell in recent years, hauls of other drugs, like marijuana, heroin and methamphetamines, increased.
Meanwhile observers blame a rise in cocaine production in Peru on the success of the US-backed Plan Colombia, as well as increasing demand in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
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