Tobacco Lebanon and coca production in Peru and Colombia

Starting in 2019, Lebanon’s economic crisis has not stopped people from smoking – almost everyone can afford water pipes, and cigars have become a status symbol for the wealthy. Coffee shops charge between $2 and $10 for smoking shisha – a popular Lebanese social activity, tradition and ritual – depending on location, tobacco quality and service. According to Statista, a German statistical portal, in 2022, no nation spent more money on cigars than the Lebanese.

In Colombia, to cope with the growing production of coca from illegal crops, the government intends to build better roads and bridges so that farmers can take their legal crops to legal markets. In this way, these crops would be sold at a more significant profit, and farmers could give up drug trafficking. Full legalisation of selling marijuana is also a new initiative.

In Peru, as coca production increases, indigenous communities fear the problem of addiction and violence coming to their lands. The flashpoint is the poorly guarded border between Peru and Brazil, located in the Amazon rainforest, which smugglers exploit. Coca cultivation and the cocaine trade once centred in the Andes, have spread to Peru’s Ucayali lowland region, now threatening the reservations of some of the world’s most isolated tribes. According to the Peruvian anti-drug Commission DEVIDA, coca crops occupied almost 14,000 ha belonging to 295 indigenous communities last year. Victims of drug trafficking include Asháninka and Amahuaca communities.

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