The Effects of Coca Eradication in Colombia

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The Effects of Coca Eradication in Colombia A farmer wipes his brow under the hot sun. He started on his crops early in the morning, most likely before sunrise and will most likely work until the sun goes down. He is working for his family, to support them, to provide food and shelter for his wife and two sons, even for other families. Yet the pressures of working to support a family are only a fraction of the strain put upon this farmer. The life of this farmer and others like him in Colombia is far more complex. If he does not harvest his crop he will most assuredly suffer from poverty and hunger, but there are other incentives for him to toil and harvest his crop. The constant threat of the local guerillas, paramilitary, cartels and even his own government keeps him ever vigilant and focused on his task at hand. He and many others who share in his struggles attempt to keep neutral but are inevitably caught up in the struggle for control of illicit drugs in Colombia. On one hand this farmer is forced to harvest his crop of coca, a crop which produces the illicit drug of cocaine. Colombian drug cartels, organizations that produce and traffic drugs, put massive amounts of pressure on local farmers to harvest coca for the production of cocaine. Granted cartels pay as much as three times for the production of this illicit material, however despite this many such as the farmer would rather live a legitimate life harvesting non illicit crops. To counteract this cartels and rebels use the threat of force on the local farmers, therefore the farmer, even though his pay has increased, must work because his life has been threatened. On the other hand the farmer’s own government has waged war against him. Responding to ... ... middle of paper ... ... Saskia. “Colombian Farmers Protest Coca Spraying.” 4 March 2004. Radio Netherlands. http://www.rnw.nl/hotspots/html/colombia010803.html Metcalfe, Rhoda. “Plan Colombia Under Scrutiny.” 3 March 2004. Radio Netherlands. http://www.rnw.nl/hotspots/html/colombia001017.html Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. “Report on Issues Related to the Aerial Eradication of Illicit Coca in Colombia .” 3 March 2004. One World US. http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/rpt/aeicc/26598.htm Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. “Report on Issues Related to the Aerial Eradication of Illicit Coca in Colombia . http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/rpt/aeicc/26581.htm Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. “U.S. Narcotics Control Initiatives in Colombia http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/rm/21203.htm
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