A Strategy to Detect and Monitor Coca Production in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia
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South America produces 90% of the world’s cocaine supply. Cocaine is the third most consumed illicit substance behind marijuana and abused pharmaceutical opiates. Trends in top consumer countries are pointing toward marijuana legalization, making cocaine more important to narcotic organizations as they compete with legitimate marijuana producers. Cocaine production itself is under threat due to the efforts of the Colombian government to reduce coca/cocaine production within their borders. Potential expansion in production and continued concealment efforts will require reliable means of identification by technical means. Identification and tracking efforts would focus on the three primary producer countries: Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. This paper puts forth a framework for coca detection that limits costs and manpower. The primary method utilizes hyperspectral sensors, which obtain images across spectral bands. Spectra derived from technical sensors identifies and catalogs signatures associated with cocaine production. Utilizing a library of signatures, a substance can be identified with high fidelity. Utilizing the primary method areas of interest can be narrowed down the highest yielding regions. Adhering to a strict HIS collection window and acquisition of commercial imagery will yield the best results. The resulting data can be displayed in easily digestible products that can be disseminated rapidly. These results will alert the customer of any nefarious activity allowing them to act in a timely manner. An estimated budget of the first year's expenses is included along with operational recommendations to include hardware, software, and personnel.