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Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, accompanied by U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Washington, May 18, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

To Deal With Colombia’s Coca Bonanza, Keep Calm and Honor the FARC Peace Deal

Friday, June 2, 2017

Colombia right now is closer than it has ever been to solving its illicit drug problem. This may be a surprising contention, since the country just measured record-breaking cultivation of coca, the plant used to make cocaine.

Yet the landmark peace deal between the Colombian government and the country’s principal guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has eliminated the most prominent obstacle to consolidate democratic governance over the vast rural areas where coca is cultivated. Or, at least it has eliminated the handiest excuse for longstanding inaction. Passed in November, the peace accord, along with President Juan Manuel Santos’ declared commitment to new counternarcotics approaches, offers at least the outlines of a kind of Marshall Plan for Colombia’s countryside, which has suffered from generations of neglect. ...

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