Colombia

UN: Production of coca leaf surges in Colombia

A new United Nations report shows that coca production in Colombia has surged to levels not seen in two decades, complicating the South American country's efforts to make its vast, lawless countryside more secure following a peace deal with leftist rebels.

The report Friday confirms U.S. government findings from March that production is skyrocketing. The culprits are varied and include President Juan Manuel Santos' decision in 2015 to stop using crop-destroying herbicides over health concerns and unintended incentives created by the peace deal for farmers to grow coca.

The amount of land where coca was cultivated last year jumped 52 percent to 146,000 hectares, the U.N....

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