Ecuador Destroys 1,100 Coca Plants on Border with Colombia

By Dialogo
December 20, 2011

Ecuadorean military personnel have destroyed around 1,100 coca plants that were ready for harvest in a jungle region on the border with Colombia, Colonel Francisco Narváez, the commander of an Ecuadorean Army battalion, announced.

According to the Andes news agency, the officer indicated that the plants were located in the region of San Lorenzo, a town in the province of Esmeraldas inhabited by the Awá indigenous community.

In early December, uniformed personnel also destroyed around 2,400 coca plants discovered in the San Lorenzo area.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released on September 21, 2011, coca cultivation continues to be marginal in Ecuador, where 25 hectares were detected in 2010, compared to 61,200 and 57,000 in neighboring Peru and Colombia, respectively.

“The incidence (of areas planted with coca) is at an incipient stage; there aren’t noteworthy tracts of land,” the UNODC representative for Ecuador and Peru, Flavio Mirella, said at the time, introducing the results of the monitoring conducted in 2010.

Ecuador has traditionally been considered a transit country for drugs, although processing laboratories have been found in recent years, especially in the coastal regions.

So far this year, the Andean country has seized at least 16.7 tons of drugs, chiefly cocaine, and has destroyed several laboratories for processing that narcotic, one of which had the capacity to produce two tons a month.