World, Americas

Maduro says Duque turning Colombia into 'narco-state'

Gov't has strengthened Colombia’s role as most important producer of cocaine in world, says Venezuelan leader

Jorge Jraissati   | 19.02.2021
Maduro says Duque turning Colombia into 'narco-state'

CARACAS, Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Colombia’s President Ivan Duque of protecting and incentivizing drug trafficking in Colombia, thus “turning the country into a true narco-state.”

Maduro said on late Thursday that the government of Duque has strengthened Colombia’s role as the most important producer of cocaine in the world, currently responsible for about 70% of all cocaine being produced.

Maduro quoted reports by the UN and the US State Department, which allegedly state that cocaine production in Colombia increased from 46,000 hectares of land to over 200,000 hectares.

Maduro then said that 84% of Colombia’s drug trafficking is exported through the country’s coasts with the Pacific Ocean, but that Venezuela is a victim of about eight percent of Colombia’s drug trafficking.

Maduro’s comments came after Duque blamed the Venezuelan government for supposedly protecting in its territory irregular groups and drug dealers.

The tension between the two neighboring governments is escalating rapidly. On Thursday, another government official, Jorge Rodriguez, said that Colombia has been systematically attempting against the stability of Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Minister of Defense Padrino Lopez also said that Colombia has become a “conspiracy center” focused on destabilizing Venezuela, declaring that Colombia has been trying to bribe Venezuelan officials, threatening those who refuse the bribes.

Lopez concluded his statement by assuring that the Armed Forces of Venezuela will not fall to the “provocations and lies” of Duque and the Colombian government, and he said that Venezuela will unquestionably respond to any violation of Venezuela’s integrity and sovereignty.

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