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UN: Colombia coca production surges to record high

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File photo (Source: DEA)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ A new United Nations report finds that cultivation of the plant used to make cocaine has reached an all-time high in Colombia.

Annual data released Wednesday by the organization indicates that coca cultivation increased 17 percent to 171,000 hectares (660 square miles) in 2017.

The findings track with those of a separate U.S. report earlier this year.

Colombia is a top U.S. ally in Latin America, but the boom in coca production has tested relations between the two nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently threatened to decertify Colombia as a partner in the war on drugs if it failed to reverse the surge in production.

The rising coca figures come as Colombia struggles to implement a peace accord with leftist rebels who funded their insurgency through drug trafficking.

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