Colombia’s newly announced proposals to disrupt drug production by cutting access to power sources and alkaloids to rural areas might sound innovative on paper but are unlikely to have a major impact on the drug trade and may end up hurting long-suffering residents.
Colombia Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez announced his proposed “disruption policy” in a November 1 press release which is aimed at confronting rising drug production and trafficking in the country, the main illicit revenue stream for Colombia’s organized crime groups.
Martínez proposed promoting bioengineering projects to curb the production of the alkaloid needed to produce cocaine, limiting the supply of energy to greenhouses in order to disrupt cannabis growing operations, and adopting measures to stop the use of cash and companies that offer foreign currency transfers or remittance services in areas of illicit crop cultivation.
In an effort to specifically target the production of the alkaloid needed to produce cocaine, Martínez proposed “petrochemical innovation” so that fuel stops yielding the factors needed to produce cocaine hydrochloride, in addition to controlling the sale of government subsidized gasoline in cocaine and marijuana-producing areas, among other things.
Martínez said that the state must combat the county’s drug trafficking groups in a “broader and more audacious” way by resorting to “technology, innovation, and disruption.” The strategy was outlined in a letter to President Iván Duque, but it is unclear whether it will be implemented.
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