Bogota, Colombia – In the heart of Colombia, in a region where the government has spent years trying to eradicate coca cultivation, doctors are using the new year to examine how the country has reached the precipice of death.
In a country of only 8.5 million, it is not unusual for children to die before their fifth birthday, according to health officials.
The death toll has climbed in recent years as the world’s coca production has soared, with the drug’s high yield enabling farmers to harvest as much as 25 tonnes a year.
The country’s average age of death was 30.
But Colombia’s death toll in the first seven months of the year is far more than that.
The figures, which are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), are startling.
In the first half of this year, Colombia recorded a total of 1,854 deaths, more than half of which were in children under five years old.
For children between the ages of five and 14, that figure jumped to 1,984, according the WHO.
While the number of deaths in Colombia is not known, experts say the number could be as high as 100,000.
The government has set up a task force to monitor the country’s cocas production, but the number remains unclear.
“In a world where we are witnessing the death of millions of people each year, it would be easy to lose sight of the fact that coca is a global commodity,” said José Miguel Ruiz, the WHO’s senior coordinator for coca eradication.
Ruiz said the drug has become the “most profitable commodity on the planet”.
“Coca production in Colombia has increased to a point where it is one of the biggest commodities in the entire world,” he said.
“The number of people dying every year in Colombia must be seen in context.
It is the number we need to assess.”
Experts estimate that cocas have been grown in Colombia since at least the 17th century.
Their cultivation began in the 1970s in the heartland of the Colombian jungle.
By the 1990s, coca plantations were spreading across the country, particularly in the southern and central regions of the country.
By the 2000s, the area covered by the cultivation, and its profits, had increased by 200%.
By 2011, cocas had reached about 70% of the land area in Colombia, and the country was the world leader in coca-growing.
Over the past decade, the number has continued to grow.
Coca has become a lucrative commodity for the drug traffickers because it has high yields and low price.
In Colombia, the price of a kilo of coca leaves is about $1.30.
The price is now rising because of the increased cultivation, according a Colombian official.
At the same time, the drug cartels have begun to take advantage of Colombia’s economic weakness to exploit the country and increase production.
Since the 1980s, drug cartels began to control much of Colombia.
Today, there are more than 500 of them in Colombia.
Colombia has about 2.4 million hectares of cocas, according TOI’s figures.
A large part of the coca crop in Colombia comes from the countrys north, where the area is mostly cleared for cultivation.
Experts say coca crops can be grown in many locations, from the countryside to cities, but a major part is concentrated in the mountains.
According to the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture, cocapias account for more than 40% of Colombias coca exports, with Colombia’s imports accounting for nearly 40% as well.
Drug trafficking has become Colombia’s main source of income, and since the 1970-80s, Colombia has been among the world leaders in cocaine production.
In 2011, cocaine production was worth $12.5 billion, according Colombia’s Ministry of Health.
Despite the high cost, cocarabicas are popular because they are cheap.
Poverty, unemployment and poverty are the major factors contributing to the poor health of Colombian children, said José Eduardo Sánchez, the head of Colombia Children’s Health Network (CCN).
“It is not just the high price, it’s also the lack of access to medical care.
Children have low incomes, which is why the children die.
The poor health is a big factor in this,” he told TOI.
Last year, the Colombian government spent $1 billion to eradicate the cocas.
With the government’s new approach to coca control, the cocapas are now being eradicated from much of the region, and coca farmers are starting to return.
However, experts have warned that cocapases in Colombia are not as big as they once were, and that the country may have reached the point where there is not enough coca to go around