Vice President Mike Pence told the president of Colombia last night that he is very concerned by the “dramatic increase” in cocaine production. Coca is the raw ingredient for cocaine, and it’s being grown in record amounts. Production has surged more than 130 percent since 2013.
Colombia is the main supplier of cocaine to the United States, where overdose deaths increased 25 percent between 2014 and 2015.
From the air, flying aboard armed helicopters with the national police, it is easy to spot the bright green plots of coca scattered below in the jungle territory of Nariño, the “cocaine capital” of Colombia.
Major Carlos Angarita, who is leading this eradication operation, landed at his team’s next target.
Here, the war on drugs is fought with shovels, pulling the coca plants up by the roots.
“It’s not an easy job,” Major Angarita told CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez. “There’s no way around it. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This is permanent.” …