Cocaine

News, information and statistics about cocaine abuse and the trafficking of cocaine. Data about cocaine is collected from criminal justice public health programs, drug treatment centers, security agencies and other public information sources.

According to the United Nations, in 2008 South America had 167,600 hectares devoted to cocaine production, a decrease of 8 percent of 2007.

The cultivation area of Colombia accounted for 430 tons of cocaine, or 48.3 percent of the total amount cultivated in South America. Peru accounted for 302 tons, or 33.5 percent of the total amount.

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Source: “Peru may overtake Colombia in cocaine output: U.N.,” Reuters, February 23, 2010.

Up to 9 percent of the cocaine entering the United States is believed to be trafficked through Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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Source:  Chris Hawley, “Experts: Haiti chaos may lead to rise in drug trafficking,” Arizona Republic, February 8, 2010.

63 tons of cocaine was seized in Ecuador in 2009 by security forces, double the amount of cocaine seized in 2008. In addition, 7 drug processing labs were destroyed in 2009, up from 2 in 2008.

There were also an increase of 15 percent in the number of arrests of drug smuggling “mules”.

Up to one-third of all cocaine produced in Colombia is believed to be trafficked through Ecuador in 2009.

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Source:  Chris Kraul, “Cocaine trafficking keeps Ecuador anti-drug authorities busy,” Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2010.

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At the start of 2010, Colombia was the largest producer of cocaine in the world, followed by Peru.

Source: Luis Andres Henao, “Latin America rejects old U.S. approach in drugs war,” Reuters, January 29, 2010.

One in four adults living in Scotland have taken illegal drugs at least once in their life, according to a report by the Scottish Government.

The most used drug was marijuana, followed by amphetamines, ecstasy, and cocaine.

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Source: “‘One in four’ Scots has taken drugs,” BBC News, January 26, 2010.

Taken from an article by Reuters, below is the increase in price of a kilo of cocaine as it is trafficked on the black market from farmers who grow coca to the street dealers.

  • Farmers in the Andes sell a kilo of coca paste to processors for $500 to $800.
  • After the coca is processed into Cocaine, it is sold to Mexican Drug Cartels for up to $6,000 a kilo.
  • The drug cartels smuggles it into the United States and Europe and break up the kilos of cocaine to sell individually as grams.  The total value of the kilo of cocaine generates between $80,000 to $100,000.

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Source:  Robin Emmott, “Cartel Inc: In the company of Narcos,” Reuters, January 14, 2010.

Back in 1991, security intelligence agencies estimated that up to 50 percent of the cocaine being sold in the United States entered the country through Mexico.

In 2004, intelligence officers estimated that the amount of cocaine smuggled through Mexico increased to 90 percent of all cocaine available in the United Sates.

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Source:  David Luhnow, “Saving Mexico,” Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2009.

90 percent of all coca harvested in Peru ends up as cocaine, with the remaining coca used as tea or chewed as a mild stimulant.

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Source:  Terry Wade, “Cocaine and rebels haunt Peru’s remote jungle,” Reuters, December 15, 2009.

Costa Rica’s Interior Ministry reported that nearly 93 tons of cocaine was seized in the country between 2006 and 2009, nearly twice the amount that was seized in the country in the previous decade. The increase in cocaine trafficking is believed to be caused from drug cartels in Mexico increasingly picking up cocaine shipped from South America in Costa Rica.

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Source:  Leslie Josephs, “Costa Rica latest stop for Mexican drug gangs,” Reuters, December 14, 2009.

Every year, between 50 to 60 tons of cocaine is moved across West Africa by drug smugglers.

On the eastern side of the continent, between 30 to 35 tons of Afghan heroin is smuggled into East Africa each year.

Source: “Africa drug trade fuelling terrorism and crime, says UN,” BBC News, December 9, 2009.