Will Peace Deprive Rural Dwellers of their Livelihood? Curbing Colombia Coca and Cannabis Production is Doomed to Failure, Say Farmers
Standing outside his mountain-top bungalow, Héctor Cundalatin surveys his coca farm, one of thousands in Colombia that supplies the raw material for the country’s multibillion-pound cocaine industry.
The view is spectacular: 9,000 light-green coca plants, each 6ft high, spilling down the steep mountainside and fading into misty plains. The setting is serene, but Mr Cundalatin and the other 120 families who live in the region of La Esmeralda and work on its 20 coca plantations are living with uncertainty as Farc, the country’s largest rebel group, evolves from armed warfare to peaceful politics. A truce, signed in December, promises them peace, but it may also strip them of their livelihood.
“The peace process is like a new life for us,” says Mr Cundalatin. Wil Crisp, The Times (Paywall)