Washington Post

Price of coca leaf collapses amid disruptions of pandemic

A farm worker spreads out coca leaves to dry in the sun in the tropical region of Yungas in Huancane, Bolivia. Foto: AP/Juan Karita

As a farmer eking out a living in Peru's central jungle, Rubén Leiva grew one cash crop that seemed immune from global cycles of booms and busts. But the coronavirus pandemic has accomplished what neither other international crises nor a U.S.-backed "war" ever could: a collapse in the price of coca leaf, a natural stimulant that is the building block of cocaine.

The great coca crash of 2020 - prices for the leaf in some regions of South America have fallen as much as 73% - illustrates the extent to which the pandemic is disrupting every aspect of global trade, including the traffic in illegal drugs...

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