In Colombia’s Presidential Election, the Periphery Has Taken Center Stage

Francia Marquez raises her arm next to presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, at an event presenting her as his running mate in Bogota, Colombia, March 23, 2022 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).
Francia Marquez raises her arm next to presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, at an event presenting her as his running mate in Bogota, Colombia, March 23, 2022 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).
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TORIBIO, Colombia—At night, the hills around Toribio twinkle with the grow lights used to both illuminate and heat the marijuana plantations that dominate the local economy. Laid out in rectangular grids, these plots are a reminder that the fertile soils of this mountainous territory in Colombia’s southern province of Cauca are both a blessing and a curse. The local Nasa communities, key actors in the mass protests that rocked Colombia last year, cultivate a wide range of crops in an attempt to find alternatives to drug production, but marijuana and coca remain the mainstay of the local economy. “We have […]

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