Monday, July 28, 2008

Rural-urban difference, cocaine, and the guerrilla war in Colombia

Simon Romero's front-page story in Sunday's NYT presents an example of the difference rurality can make to crime fighting, although that is not really the story's focus. Instead, its focus is on how Colombian coca cultivation, pushed farther and farther into remote areas, continues to fund a guerrilla war there, killing many rural residents. Meanwhile, that war no longer plays out in Colombian cities. Here are some excerpts from "Cocaine Sustains War in Rural Colombia," which features the town of El Rosario, a remote municipality:

A decade ago, coca was a rare crop in the area, farmers in El Rosario said. Then, eradication efforts under Plan Colombia, the $5 billion counterinsurgency and antinarcotics effort financed by the United States, forced the migration of coca cultivation here from other parts of the country.

To them, the eradication effort has simply pushed the coca — and the groups that feed off it — into ever-more isolated parts of the country. Now that coca has become their livelihood, too, the farmers are determined to hold on to it.

While the article discusses coca eradication efforts, mostly through aerial spraying, it only hints at the challenges that rurality poses to protecting rural Colombians from the warring factions.

1 comment:

Victor2008 said...

The natives used coca for mystical, religious, social, nutritional and medicinal purposes.
Crack Cocaine