In Light of Clashes With Coca Growers: Colombia Remains Firm in Commitment to Forcefully Eradicate Illicit Crops (S)
Peasants from Cauca, Putumayo, Nariño, and Meta have recently clashed with the Army. The public force arrived at dozens of coca plantations, equipment in hand, to forcefully eradicate them. The peasants, as expected, have prevented it from happening.
The fierce clashes over the last few weeks have left dozens of people injured and the feeling that the relationship between the state and the coca growers is increasingly tense. Meanwhile, the State maintains an ambiguous line in its policy of reducing illicit crops. On the one hand, it insists on taking the plantations by force and without further consideration, but on the other hand, the National Crop Replacement Agency is attempting to implement over ten plans for the producers to stop planting coca leave. According to Eduardo Díaz, director of the agency, this initiative provide the elements to advance toward replacing “60,000 hectares.”
Pacifista! Spoke with Díaz about how to build trust with the peasants while, at the same time, confronting the coca mafias, about the government’s relationship with the Coca, Poppy and Marijuana Growers Coordinator – Coccam, about the responsibility of the FARC in the increases of crops and on the position of Colombia before the Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Pacifista!