Colombia cocaine seizures break record in 2022

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Security forces seized 671 tonnes of the drug last year, surpassing the 2021 total by around 1.7 tonnes.

“It is necessary to combat the illicit income that comes from drug trafficking, which generates evil in our country,” said Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez, quoted in the ministry’s statement. He credited the authorities for the “great results.”

The data showed that the provinces of Narino, Bolivar and Valle del Cauca were the site of the most seizures last year.

Cocaine production and trafficking are seen as the main driver of a nearly six-decade armed conflict in Colombia that has left more than 450,000 dead and millions displaced.

The National Liberation Army guerrilla group, dissidents from the FARC rebel group and criminal groups made up of former right-wing paramilitaries were all implicated in drug trafficking.

Cocaine seizures were 505 tons in 2020 and 428 tons in 2019.

(Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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