28 November 2017 - UNODC has been a strong and committed supporter of Colombia's activities to combat the growing and global challenges posed by cocaine cultivation, production and trafficking.
In this regard, UNODC and the Government of Colombia recently organized a joint training programme to strengthen technical knowledge about cocaine cultivation, production and laboratory criminal techniques.
The five-days training took place in Colombia and focused on two main topics: on cultivation, extraction and the crystallization process; as well as on chain of custody practices and handling of chemical substances.
The programme included on-site-visits to laboratories for the identification of clandestine cocaine production and it allowed participants to gain a better understanding of recent trends in cocaine production, as well as to identify best practices of detection and investigation, to improve skills in countering drug trafficking.
Luis Ignacio Garcia, a training participant who represented the Ministry of Security of Argentina, summarized his experience: "Seeing the production site and learning about the background of cocaine cultivation and production gives me a new perspective on the global issue of cocaine trafficking. Now I am able to better relate and understand the whole process. This will definitely be a great help to be applied in future cases."
Strengthening knowledge about drug production and trafficking is essential for experts and law enforcement practitioners, as it provides a unique opportunity for officials of administrative control bodies and operational institutions to learn more about the technical aspects of drugs and chemical substances used for their production, as well as field and laboratory criminal techniques.
Officials from Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Cabo Verde, Colombia and Peru participated in the training.
The event allowed UNODC and the European Union to strengthen their ongoing technical assistance activities along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa, and participants will be able to design efficient strategies to respond to the multiple manifestations of drug trafficking.
Under the framework of the CRIMJUST project, funded by the European Union Cocaine Route Programme, UNODC and its partners (INTERPOL and Transparency International) aim to assist Member States to enhance their capacity and integrity of criminal justice institutions to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate illicit cocaine trafficking cases, and to foster cooperation at the interregional level for effective action to tackle drug trafficking and related organized crime.