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Friday, December 30, 2005
2005: a Record Year for Cocaine Seizures in Colombia
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:52 pm

Via CNN: Colombia reports record high 2005 cocaine seizures

Colombia seized a record 186 tonnes of cocaine this year thanks to a Washington-backed program aimed at cutting imports of the illegal drug to the United States, the Colombian government said on Friday.

The haul, seized using equipment and expert advice provided by “Plan Colombia,” was 26 percent more than last year and had a U.S. street value of $4.7 billion, Defense Minister Camilo Ospina told reporters.

Couple this with, as the story also mentions, increases in the street price of cocaine this year and one will get a great deal of crowing from Washington over the successes in the drug war. And I will not discount the idea that driving price up and interdicting supply are, in fact, two basic tenets of the policy.

However, the real question will become whether use of cocaine actually declines. Further, it will be interesting to see if these types of successes can be sustained over time.

As I have pointed out before, the real irony here is that the contraction of supply, and the increase in price, simply makes drug trafficking more profitable. It’s basic economics.

As such, unless these changes actually dissuade use in a substantial fashion, these successes in the drug war actually end up helping the drug traffickers.

2 Comments »

  1. Extending the “basic economics” point, higher prices for cocaine almost certainly means higher crime in US cities.

    Comment by Matthew — Friday, December 30, 2005 @ 3:23 pm

  2. […] ast year it was reported that cocaine seizures in Colombia had been especially successful (see here) and crop eradication has been marginally successful, depending on how one wishes to define the term […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Tales from the Drug War — Thursday, February 2, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

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