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Colombia remains world’s No. 2 in coca cultivation

June 26, 2014

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The United Nations says the area under coca cultivation in Colombia held steady last year, though the crop used to make cocaine increased in several conflict zones.

The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime also reported a 53 percent drop in coca-growing areas sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate under a U.S.-funded program.

The 181 square miles (47,000 hectares) sprayed was just 4 square miles (1,000 hectares) less than the total area under coca cultivation at year’s end, the U.N. said in Thursday’s report.

Colombia thus barely remained the No. 2 coca-cultivating country after Peru, which overtook it in 2012. The difference last year was 1,500 hectares.

More than half of Colombia’s coca crop lies in three states hard-hit by the country’s guerrilla conflict: Narino, Norte de Santander and Putumayo.

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