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The War on Drugs in Colombia’s Countryside
The War on Drugs in Colombia’s Countryside

The War on Drugs in Colombia’s Countryside

This week, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Beth Dickinson, Crisis Group’s Colombia expert, about the violence in Colombia’s countryside over coca production and why the government’s forced eradication of coca is making things worse. 

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh speak with Beth Dickinson, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Colombia, about the Colombian government’s new war on drugs and the escalation of violence in rural areas. Beth unpacks the complex dynamics between vulnerable farming communities, criminal groups vying for control over illicit markets, and security forces failing to contain the bloodshed. She explains how the downward spiral undermines the 2016 peace process. They discuss Crisis Group’s recent reports on the subject, including how women’s involvement in coca cultivation means they are at a particular risk of violence, why armed groups have emerged as winners of the post-FARC peace deal, and the social activists and leaders caught in the crossfire. They also look at what an alternative to Bogota’s current heavy handed approach would look like.


Click here to listen on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

For more information, read Crisis Group’s reports: Deeply Rooted: Coca Eradication and Violence in Colombia and Leaders under Fire: Defending Colombia’s Front Line of Peace.