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Deeply Rooted: Coca Eradication and Violence in Colombia
Deeply Rooted: Coca Eradication and Violence in Colombia

Deeply Rooted: Coca Eradication and Violence in Colombia

Coca crops have set record yields in Colombia since the 2016 peace accord with FARC guerrillas, persuading the government to expand its forced eradication campaign with the backing of U.S. authorities. Bogotá claims that eliminating the plant will reduce rural violence.

Insecurity in Colombia’s countryside has steadily got worse in recent years as armed groups vie with one another and the military for supremacy. Enhanced eradication, and potentially aerial fumigation, could intensify violence by forcing farmers into the clutches of armed outfits, while failing to stop the replanting of coca.

Colombia and the U.S., the lead outside backer of tough counter-narcotic policies in Latin America, should turn the page on using force against coca farmers in a bid to dent global cocaine supply. Boosting rural economies, forging ahead with crop substitution and avoiding clashes with cultivators would make for better policy.

Deeply Rooted: Coca Eradication and Violence in Colombia

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