Coca, the illicit plant that funded Colombia’s civil war, is flourishing again

Duque’s plan to destroy it is drawing opposition
The Washington Post (US)
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It was eight years ago the last time planes came to spray poison on Noralba Quintero’s coca crop in the jungled foothills here by the mighty Magdalena River. Until recently, she thought those days were over. Quintero’s community was one of thousands that relied on the plant from which cocaine is made to survive through Colombia’s decades-long civil war. With the historic peace accord of 2016, the government was supposed to help the farmers transition to legal agriculture. But that pledge remains unfulfilled — and coca has proliferated. Now President Iván Duque, pressured by the United States, is pushing hard to resume aerial fumigation with glyphosate, the controversial practice that officials here say is the most effective way of eradicating the illicit crop that helped fund the war.