New tactics in fight against Colombia drug trade

World Today

Despite the end of the FARC war in Colombia, the country remains a hot spot for the drug trade.

Coca crops set records in 2014 and 2015, and Colombia is the world’s top cocaine producer.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports anti-narcotics agents are developing new ways to destroy the drugs where they’re grown.

New tactics in fight against Colombia drug trade

Despite the end of the FARC war in Colombia, the country remains a hot spot for the drug trade.

At a secret location just three hours from Bogota, around three hectares of land are filled with 23 different species of coca plants.

At the head of this operation are Colombia’s anti-narcotics police. The operation is an experimental coca plantation where they test new ways to kill the plants.

Authorities say farmers use sugar water or milk to coat the plants to protect them from herbicides.

But landmines protect them from a different threat. Police train how to detect mines in these fields.

The Compania Jungla Antinarcoticos are, by reputation, the narco-traffickers “worst nightmare.”

JUNGLA commandos can destroy a cocaine lab in a matter of minutes. And they do it in an environmentally-friendly way.

Officials say narco-traffickers have begun moving their labs into the city. But the most popular location remains the jungle where the dense foliage provides shelter, concealment and space.

With cocaine production in Colombia setting new records, there are some who say this is a losing battle. Colombia’s drug-fighting special forces disagree.