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

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

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.

The Santos administration has declared its intention to eradicate 100,000 hectares of coca this year, or nearly 250,000 acres. Half of that will be through forcibly eradicating large-scale coca plots or plots in areas where no farming should be occurring, like national parks. The other half will be through a series of pacts that make up the peace deal’s fourth chapter, in which coca-growing families voluntarily eradicate the crop in exchange for assistance moving to legal products.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to WPR’s fully searchable library of 16,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news and analysis from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • The Weekly Wrap-Up email, with highlights of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review