Colombia’s Petro Says Cocaine Among Country’s Top Exports

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(Bloomberg) — Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro said cocaine has always been a top export for his country after a report estimated the narcotic would overtake oil to become the nation’s top exporting product.

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“Cocaine has been Colombia’s first export product several times, and if not, the second,” Petro said Friday evening in a message on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “Sad reality of oil economies that neglect that production, and not extraction, is the source of wealth. We want a productive Colombia.”

Petro was responding to a post on X by Senator Miguel Uribe Turbay of the opposition Democratic Center party. “This problem is increasingly greater,” Uribe Turbay said, including a link to Bloomberg News’ story published Sept. 14. “We must stop Petro from turning Colombia into a narco state.”

READ MORE: Cocaine Is Set to Overtake Oil to Become Colombia’s Main Export

Cocaine should overtake oil to become Colombia’s main export, as the narcotic’s production continues to expand amid more lenient government policy regarding drugs, according to estimates by Bloomberg Economics. Oil exports fell 30% in the first half of 2023 while the cocaine trade rose steadily, Bloomberg economist Felipe Hernandez wrote.

Cocaine export revenues rose to $18.2 billion in 2022, only slightly behind $19.1 billion in oil exports, Hernandez said in the note.

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