News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. Mar. 2, 2011: The South American nation of Columbia, the world’s biggest producer of cocaine, has been dropped by the International Narcotics Control Board from its list of countries requiring special observation.
The INCB is a monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations’ international drug control conventions.
The board said the decision was made since Columbia has made progress in its war on drugs by strengthening its state institutions and its justice system, allowing it to control the supply and demand of drugs more effectively.
The INCB, however, said it would continue to monitor developments in Colombia closely, but wanted to give the country recognition for its achievements so far.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the move and thanked Colombians in the drug-growing regions for their efforts in combating production.
“It’s not just the tones of cocaine seized by the police, the army or the navy, it’s the drastic change [in attitude] which we’ve seen in these areas,” he said.
The UN’s 2010 World Drug Report shows that coca cultivation in Colombia decreased by 58 percent between 2000 and 2009, mainly due to large-scale eradication.