Colombia’s Coca Boom
Colombia’s Coca Boom
Colombia’s FARC Ends its 53-year Insurgency
Colombia’s FARC Ends its 53-year Insurgency

Colombia’s Coca Boom

Over the last seven years, the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has worked strenuously to dissociate the country from its image as a cocaine exporter. In 2016, Santos struck a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the guerrilla group that for years stood watch over coca farms and had become the wholesaler and arbiter of the cocaine trafficking business.

Santos had hoped that the deal would not only end decades of fighting, but also paralyze the drug trade and starve other criminal groups of revenue. And yet Colombia’s cocaine production is booming. Last year, it produced its largest coca crop in nearly two decades.

Washington has looked on disapprovingly. “More coca, more cocaine, more cocaine, more security problems,” Kevin Whitaker, the U.S. ambassador to Colombia, told El Tiempo, just days after the White House threatened in mid-September to decertify the country as a partner on the war against drugs. The last time that Colombia suffered such ignominy was in the 1990s, when President Ernesto Samper was accused of having received slush money from the Cali cartel, which was then the country’s biggest exporter of cocaine.

The full article can be read at Foreign Affairs.

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