Cocaine production in Colombia is at historic highs
There is not much the government can do about it
On his farm in Uribe, a district in central Colombia, Efraín Silva, a 50-year-old farmer, points at a solitary coca bush still on his land. “This one must have been left by a lazy soldier,” he laughs. The rest of the six hectares (15 acres) on which Mr Silva used to grow the cocaine-producing plant was torn up by the army in 2017, as part of a voluntary agreement he struck with the government in the wake of Colombia’s peace deal. He proudly shows off the crops that have replaced it: cocoa, some avocados, plantains as well.
Until the end of 2016 Uribe was mostly controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a Marxist guerrilla movement with a sideline in drug trafficking. Its fields, chopped from the forest over the past few decades, produced plentiful coca. Now most of the local farmers are like Mr Silva, trying to move on from drug production. When Colombia’s government
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