While the FARC peace travesty rolls right along, coca cultivation has surged over the past two years as growers are offered greater incentives at lower risk.
InSight Crime looks at four factors:
- Coca leaf reached its highest price in 10 years
- Coca farmers also faced lower risk of crop loss due to the government’s decision to halt aerial spraying and because growers themselves mobilized protests that effectively blocked security forces from carrying out manual eradication in some areas
- Increased expectations that coca producers might benefit from more heavily funded crop substitutions programs as a result of the government’s peace process with the FARC (emphasis added): “Field research by InSight Crime supports government assertions that theFARC has been telling communities in their areas of operation that coca crops will result in greater benefits from the peace process, now in its final stages of negotiation. The FARC is estimated to control up to 70 percent of the country’s coca fields, providing protection and market access to the farmers.”
- Local factors like drought, and the general lack of viable alternatives.
Read the full article here.