Forced Eradication of Crops for Illicit Use and Human Rights

20 July 2020
Article

According to UNODC figures as of December 31, 2019, 154,000 ha of coca were detected in Colombia, which means a reduction of 15,000 ha, that is, 9% less compared to the 169,000 ha detected in 2018. President Duque’s government set a goal of eradicating 130,000 hectares of coca leaf crops during 2020, 62.5 percent more than 2019, when the goal was set at 80,000 ha.

Photo credit Martin Jelsma

According to UNODC figures1 as of December 31, 2019, 154,000 ha of coca were detected in Colombia, which means a reduction of 15,000 ha, that is, 9% less compared to the 169,000 ha detected in 2018. President Duque’s government set a goal of eradicating 130,000 hectares of coca leaf crops during 2020, 62.5 percent more than 2019, when the goal was set at 80,000 ha.

The eradication effort is distributed equally between the national army and the police, each with 50% (65,000 Has). For this purpose, different tools are being used: forced manual eradication, glyphosate ground spraying, and a contribution from the substitution programs -in terms of crop reduction- is also expected. Furthermore, the government had hoped to see the return of aerial spraying from the beginning of this year.
 
To meet the goal in 2020, the government had a budget to increase the number of Forced Eradication Mobile Groups to 200. At the end of the Santos administration there were 24 such groups and by 2019 there were about 100 groups active in coca production areas
 
Forced manual eradication is quite costly in terms of human rights, as communities resist the states’ interventions that display the use of force, in violation of agreements they signed with the Colombian State during the former government of President Santos. Likewise, the police has had some serious injuries (61 in 2019), most of them concerning amputations.
 
In cocaine producing areas, armed groups, including neo-paramilitary groups seek to control the markets for Cocaine Base Paste (PBC) or coca leaf, which, added to the actions of the state security forces for territorial control, weakens the autonomy, the economy and the organization of the communities.
 
Finally, despite the goals proposed by the national government, the 2019 UNODC report indicates that the production potential of pure cocaine hydrochloride was estimated at 1,137 MT, presenting an increase of 1.5% compared to 2018. For its part, the estimated production of coca leaf was 993,107 MT, an increase of 1.6% compared to 2018. In relation to crop productivity, nationwide it is estimated that one hectare produced around 5, 8 MT of fresh leaf in 2019. The Pacific region is the one with the highest productivity.
 

Main considerations about current supply reduction policies that focus on crops for illicit use

1. Under the current government, there is a total lack of coordination with regard to alternative policies in relation to crops for illicit use, (call it substitution or alternative development) and the strategy of reduction of crops based on forceful actions.

This lack of coordination was already observed during the Santos administration. On the ground and concerning the actions of forced eradication, it has been the Ministry of Defence that has been controlling the implementation of the policy, in open alignment with the demands of the United States of America.2


  1. Regarding forced eradication, which has become “violent eradication”, a proper State policy has predominated, while in the substitution programs or alternatives to the economy of crops for illegal use, traditional government policy continues.3 Clearly, Colombia’s State policy is drawn up by Washington and is based on the unsuccessful demand for reduction of areas as the substantial aspect, to the detriment of rural development policies or at least strengthening peasant economies.

  2. The demands of the United States are based on false premises that assign Colombia a responsibility for the serious public health crisis in the US that is associated with the increase in overdose deaths due to the consumption of synthetic opiates and Fentanyl, rather than cocaine. However, the Colombian government rigorously accepts a purported co-responsibility that we condemn as false.4

  3. The above is part of the complex relationship between security and development or security and strengthening the autonomy processes of indigenous and collective territories towards self-government. That relationship is central in the post-peace agreement scenario and the country is in arrears to assume it. The design of intervention strategies without taking into account that relationship or simply reduce it to the militarization of the territories as the master key to security, goes beyond the participation of the communities in the construction of the civil space that Colombia urgently needs. It implies respecting their autonomous security and protection processes. In the aggravation of insecurity there is a historical and continuous responsibility of the governments that have had or assumed power since the signing of the peace agreement.

2. The Government's narrative on coca farmers

The current government narrative reproduces exactly the same justifications used in the Santos period when it carried out processes of forced eradication. It is argued that cultivators carry out attacks against state security forces and they are being used by the armed groups, so that the acts of force are acts of "legitimate defence of the Armed Forces". The circumstances in which the El Tandil massacre occurred in the department of Nariño seem to be repeating themselves. The El Tandil massacre occurred on October 5, 2017 where seven people were killed among producers and day labourers.
 
In a Semana magazine news article about the events, the victims maintained that "it was the anti-narcotics police who opened fire on the peasants who, at most, were armed with sticks and rubber bands. The Police, for their part, stated that their men responded to fire from a FARC dissent that attacked them in the midst of the protest, and that this is how the tragedy occurred.”5 According to Semana, "At the moment, the version with the most credibility, based on the Prosecutor's investigations, is that of the victims."6
 

As the official government version of the massacre was that it occurred amid clashes with an illegal armed group, a prosecutor specialized in criminal organizations took the lead over the case. This situation was not accepted by the representatives of the victims who, considering it a massacre perpetrated by state actors, insisted that the investigation should be undertaken by a human rights prosecutor. However, on September 27, 2019 it was announced that the case would go to the military criminal justice department.

Recalling that during the Santos period between 2017 and August 2018, eight people lost their lives amid forced eradication actions, after the recent signing of the peace agreement. Under the Duque administration 4 peasants were killed in these operations.7

Overall, in the areas with presence of crops for illicit use, a series of human rights violations have occurred and the minimum standards of protection for the civilian population provided for in International Humanitarian Law have been breached. For this reason, communities fear that the presence of troops from the Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB), part of bilateral US-cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, will aggravate the situation. Their presence is announced precisely in areas of military operations of the so-called Future Zones that coincide with territories that have high homicide rates due to forced eradication operations by both the Armed Forces and the Police (See Table). Its support is focused on the Hercules Joint Task Forces (Tumaco, South Pacific), Vulcano (Catatumbo Region), Omega (Meta, Caquetá and Guaviare) and the Drug Trafficking Brigade (National Coverage).

With regard to the cases of killed rural residents, who were involved to some extent in the National Crop Substitution Programme8 (PNIS), part of the peace accords, or who were simply present at the time of the forced eradication operations, the situation was as follows, from June 2020 onwards:

Killings of leaders and persons related to PNIS and/or in context of manual forced eradication operations from November 24 of 2016 to 5 of June 2020 and at the municipal level

 

Department y homicidios pers. relac con PNIS o EMF.

 

 

No.

 

Subregión

 

 

No.

Municipios y homicidios pers. Relac con PNIS o EMF

 

 

No. 

Zonas Futuro (ZEII)

Contexto tasa de homicidios  gral 100 K

Lugar en el Dpto.

Tasa Dpto por 100 K

Antioquia 

22

Bajo Cauca 

17

Tarazá

14

 

 233.04 

2

34

 

 

 

 

Carepa

1

X

 35.68 

36

 

 

 

 

 

Caucacia

1

X

126.16 

10

 

 

 

 

 

Anorí

1

X

135.31 

6

 

 

 

Norte Ant. 

5

Briceño

2

 

149.89 

5

 

 

 

 

 

Ituango

2

X

306.24 

1

 

 

 

 

 

Valdivia

1

X

133.72 

9

 

Cauca 

19

Norte del Cauca 

 

4

 

Caloto

 

3

 

 

124.64

 

3

 

37.50

 

 

 

 

Corinto

1

 

90.62

6

 

 

 

Centro 

4

Cajibío

3

 

23.42

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morales

1

 

22.61

 

 

 

 

Zona Sur 

9

Balboa

3

 

34.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patía (El Bordo)

1

 

110.19

5

 

 

 

 

 

Bolívar

3

 

15.61

 

 

 

 

 

 

Argelia

2

 

87.42

7

 

 

 

Bota Cauc. 

1

Piamonte

1

 

67.23

10

 

 

 

Pacífico 

1

Guapi

1

 

6.68

 

 

Nariño 

16

Pacífico Sur  

13

Tumaco

13

X

126.47

1

23.77

 

 

Telembí         

1

Maguí Payán

1

X

24.38

8

 

 

 

La Cordillera 

1

El Rosario

1

 

20.41

10

 

 

 

Obando         

1

Ipiales

1

 

21.58

9

 

Córdoba 

11

Sur de Córdoba (San Jorge) 

 

9

San José de Uré

7

X

216.47

1

15.49

 

 

 

 

Montelíbano

1

X

41.45

2

 

 

 

 

 

Pto Libertador

1

X

17.19

8

 

 

 

Sur de Córdoba (Alto Sinú) 

 

2

Tierralta

2

X

4.66

23

 

Putumayo 

6

Medio Put. o Piedemonte 

 

2

Puerto Guzmán

2

 

78.61

1

46.53

 

 

Bajo Putumayo 

4

Orito

1

 

40.81

7

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Asís

2

 

64.28

5

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Leguízamo

1

 

65.02

4

 

Valle 

6

Pacífico 

4

Buenaventura

4

 

22.64

36

47.81

 

 

Norte 

2

El Dovio

2

 

48.57

20

 

Caquetá 

4

Piedemonte 

4

Montañita

2

 

120.13

1

41.51

 

 

 

 

San José del Fragua

1

 

78.83

2

 

 

 

 

 

Curillo

1

 

76.08

3

 

N de S 

6

Catatumbo 

5

Tibú

2

X

247.99

1

39.17

 

 

 

 

Sardinata

2

X

61.96

9

 

 

 

 

 

Hacarí

1

X

101.29

5

 

 

 

Oriental

1

Cúcuta

1

 

30.20

17

 

Meta 

2

Ariari 

2

Mapiripán

1

 

53.96

1

23.80

 

 

 

 

La Macarena

1

 

50.33

3

 

Bolívar 

2

 

 

Cantagallo

2

 

30.87

3

17.22

Own elaboration based on the Marcha Patriotica "Violations of Human Rights in forced eradication operations of crops for illicit use carried out by combined forces of the National Army and the National Police in Colombia.", June 2020; IGAC - DANE - www.todacolombia.com* Población Proyección DANE 2018; Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses, FORENSIS 2018, June 2019.

It should be clarified that the fact that a person is related to the PNIS (as a beneficiary or leader) does not in itself explain the cause of the murder. This is because in the territories and in the complexity of local life, there may exist other motives of a political or social order, or simultaneous economic activities that better specify the eventual reasons motivating the murder. However, the data that we have reviewed gives information on the complexity of these territories implying the need for the design of much more specific protection strategies that respond to the particularity of the circumstances.

The main clues provided by this information are:

There are specific areas that condense the highest number of cases. Firstly, the events in Bajo Cauca with 17 cases and those in the North of Antioquia with 5 are significant, 22 in total, representing 23.4% of the national accumulated. In other words, almost a quarter of the cases are found in these territories. Only Tarazá in Bajo Cauca groups 14 cases, that is, approximately 64% of the events in Antioquia. Tarazá ranks second in the murder rate at the departmental level (233.04 per 100,000), which suggests that the deaths in drug trafficking contexts would be part of a complex web of other motivations and that they should be analyzed in detail. However, the scenario takes on an important relevance; the case of Tarazá contrasts with Ituango in the north of Antioquia, while being the municipality with the highest homicide rates (306.24), it only has two cases.

 
    • Another important case is Tumaco, which has 13 incidents and is the municipality with the highest homicide rates in Nariño (126.47 per hundred thousand).
 
    • Also in this range we find the case of San José de Uré in the South of Córdoba in the sub region of the San Jorge River with 7 events among 9 in that territory.
 
Thus, Tarazá, Tumaco and San José de Uré encompass 34 cases, or 36% of the national total in the period after the signing of the peace agreement until June 5, 2020. Three municipalities represent more than a third of the total national number of killings.
 
This figure alone should motivate a comparative analysis of the State security strategies for these territories where patterns could be observed in the interventions that are being erratic or useless.
 
The generalizing narrative of associating homicides with the fact that a municipality has crops for illicit use is still wrong. There are cases that, being important nuclei of drug trafficking, do not show violent behavior, surely due to  coexistence arrangements, either by the dominance of an armed actor, or by agreements with the people and groups involved in one way or another in the conflict.
 

Cases of productive drug trafficking enclaves that do not have significant homicide rates or murders of people involved in that activity in the period under review, are for example: El Naya (Cauca-Valle del Cauca9) and El Charco-Olaya Herrera (Nariño), areas where the PNIS arrangement did not arrive.10


  • Forced eradications and false positives with detainees

In addition to cases of human rights violations, including threats to life, there are now indiscriminate arrests of cultivators taking place, as in the case of the El Silencio village in the jurisdiction of Puerto Alvira, municipality of Mapiripán sur del Meta. According to the Ministry of Defense this concerns people with ties to FARC dissidents. However, the Community Action Group (JAC) of the area insists that the people involved are peasants from that area and that they are peaceful people well known to all.11

3. Current Situation: Covid 19 and the cultivation of coca in Colombia

While the majority of the Colombian people are confined to their homes in compliance with quarantine as ordered by President Iván Duque, the campaign against coca has not stopped and the peasants have to leave their homes to confront the eradicators and the militarized security surrounded by it. In this context, reports of human rights violations caused by forced eradication operations have increased dramatically.

Anorí in Antioquia12, Sardinata13 and Cúcuta in Norte de Santander14, Tumaco in Nariño15, El Retorno Guaviare16and Vistahermosa in Meta17have been in the news in the last two months (May and June 2020) for attacks (homicides and injuries) on peasants, indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples, who grow coca, and who oppose the spraying of their crops carried out by the police, military or contracted civilians. All of these deaths are the result of the use of weapons by State security forces. There have also been people injured and prosecuted. Also, members of the security forces have been injured or have been held by farmers to prevent their crops from being eliminated. The same reports have surfaced in Putumayo, Caquetá, Córdoba, Cauca and Chocó.

The mechanism established by the Ministry of Defense has led to a militarization of the eradication of coca crops, through the use of army troops or an increasingly militarized anti-narcotics police, not just in the way they dress but especially in their weapons and intervention mode. Additionally, the operations are accompanied by the Mobile Riot Squad - ESMAD – which is constantly questioned for its excessive use of force in the dissolution of social protests. It should be made clear that these operations are carried out in places where the state has never arrived in terms of providing social services to local populations and where institutional presence is absent or weak.
 

How is it operated?

According to the community of the Salto Gloria village in the municipality of El Retorno (Guaviare), the eradication operation carried out early on the morning of Sunday, May 24, began with a helicopter flying over the targeted area that opened fire, apparently as a deterrent, to disperse the peasantry that had gathered before the landing of the uniformed men, however, the shots frightened the community.

Immediately after tear gas shots were fired at the farmers. Despite this, the disembarkation of the troops in order to eliminate the coca bushes - a task that is sometimes carried out with ground spraying of glyphosate and other times uprooting the plants – ended in confrontations with locals, who, armed with sticks, did not allow the extermination of agriculture that they consider their only viable source of basic income in these geographical confines.

A crash occurred immediately. Again there were shots and amid screaming Manuel Ayala, a 62 year old man well known by the population, was injured. A lady with a cell phone filmed the events that were taking place while she shouted half sentences at the policemen who, dressed as soldiers from futuristic movies, chased a man to capture him.18

The reasons for the operations and the responses of the communities

The government justified its actions with the following discourse; 

  1. The involved communities are located in natural parks or other protected areas.
  2. These families do not pertain to the National Crop Substitution Program (PNIS).
  3. Coca production in these regions benefits illegal armed groups.
  4. Coca cultivation brings violence and deforestation, destroys the environment and pollutes the water.
  5. Peasants protest because they are forced by the illegal armed groups to do so.
  6. Peasants have options to engage in legal crop production.

The government justified its actions with the following discourse:

For their part, the communities claim “violations of human rights of the peasants, countless injured civilians and soldiers, arrests, and property stolen from the peasants, minors placed at the disposal of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, and displacement of the population by apparently legal avenues”. They argue that they live in parks because they had no other options to access land. And they rely on coca for several reasons: lack of state support, lack of infrastructure, and no access to licit markets. Similarly, coca paste is an easily transportable non-perishable good, of good price, ensured market, source of credit, it is a local currency for commercial exchange and the best source of employment compared to other activities19, despite the low prices received by the farmer in the initial phase of this specific production chain. To which is to be added that in these communities collective agreements could have been signed which did not convert into family substitution arrangements or simply the offer of the PNIS Program did not arrive, despite the fact that Point 1 of the peace agreement considered it a priority to resolve the situation of the peasantry in protected areas .

On the other hand, and according to the Foundation Ideas for Peace (FIP) in the first four-month period of 2020, 82 percent of the municipalities that are part of the PNIS (46) had forced eradication operations. Nine of the 13 municipalities where there were incidents are in this group.20 This fact confirms the predominance in the war treatment of the cultivators of illicit use and the total lack of coordination between the security entities and the entities responsible for the substitution programs or productive, social and environmental protection alternatives in the territories with dependence on this economy. Only in June of this year, Hernando Londoño, the director of substitution of the Agency of Territory Renovation (ART), reported that the entity is processing an agreement with the Parks Unit to address the situation of cultivators in those areas21, almost four years after the Peace Agreement was signed. 

4. Violation of the protocols of forced eradication or violent eradication and absence of control and monitoring agencies.

In all cases of forced eradication in which human rights violations have occurred, there are no representatives of the Public Ministry (both Ombudsman and Attorney General). This implies irregular situations in the context of these operations.
 
Law 30 of 1986 in its chapter VII establishes a procedure for the destruction of seized plantations and substances. Specifically, in article 77 there is a subsection that establishes the procedure for identification, measurement of the crop, and identification of those responsible, taking samples from the plant and referring the sampling to the health authority.
 
Of all the above, says the article, a record will be drawn up that must be signed by the owner or the grower and the Public Ministry must be present throughout the procedure. Only then will eradication proceed. In other words, the affected producers must demand the act and confirmation from the health authority that these are psychoactive plants as a condition for the execution of the eradication. In any case, it is inferred from said article that guarantees must be given in relation to the presence of the Public Ministry, in particular to ensure compliance with eradication protocols and with full respect for human rights.
 
As it was observed, in the violent eradication procedures, there is a total absence of the disciplinary control bodies and human rights monitoring, both of the Public Ministry and even of any development cooperation agency in this matter. It is paradoxical that while the Ministry of Defense argues that eradication actions will not be paralyzed given the context of the pandemic22, those entities use COVID 19 to excuse their presence in areas where violent eradications are being carried out, with serious impacts on human rights despite the insistent requests from the communities. This occurred in the protest of the Third Millennium district of Vistahermosa (Meta), where the peasant population mobilized for almost a month against the eradication carried out by the Omega Joint Task Force, and where the Army and the Ombudsman only arrived 10 days after the end of the protest.
 
Also, there is a violation of the Antinarcotics Handbook for the Manual Eradication of Illicit Crops by the Police, approved on October 15, 2010. There it is contemplated under article 7.1. COMPLIANCE WITH RESPECT AND FOUNDATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (Page 80) where it states that:
 
At all times, good treatment and respect for all people, their goods and property must be taken into account, paying special attention to the regionalisms and cultural features characteristic of each area (Art 1º. Everyone has all the rights and freedoms proclaimed in this declaration, without any distinction of race, color, sex, language, religion, political opinion or of any other kind, national or social origin, economic position, birth or any other condition).
 
In light of the complaints from the communities, a total ignorance of the provisions of the Police Manual on eradication operations is observed, which is aggravated by the absence of the Public Ministry.
 

5. Risk increase during the pandemic

The current operations being carried out by both army and police troops in different territories with crops for illicit use are carried out incorporating personnel brought in from different areas, without clarity on the protection measures for the residents, increasing the risk of infection of Covid 19 for communities, who live in territories that lack adequate health infrastructure to deal with a disproportionate increase in cases and whose collapse is foreseeable in such a scenario.
 
By mentioning a couple of cases, in Cúcuta it was known that 36 soldiers have been isolated since April due to an alleged coronavirus infection, and in San José del Guaviare the contagion of this disease occurred in dozens of soldiers close to the 22nd Jungle Brigade, in June. Regarding control actions by the Office of the State Attorney General, this entity asked the Ministry of Defense to suspend its actions in Chocó and Nariño due to the risk of contagion from COVID 19. 
 

"The activities of eradication of crops for illicit use, by members of the State security forces and Mobile Groups of Forced Eradication, generate a risk of contagion by COVID-19, significant and impermissible for the health of the members of ethnic peoples, with respect to which there is a scientific consensus”.23

By virtue of this type of consideration, the Office of the Attorney General requested the suspension of the operations.

6. Proposals

There is an urgent need to rethink the security model that prevails in the actions of the State security forces in light of their commitments to counter drug trafficking and in particular, in relation to illicit crops.
 
The predominance of a narrative that points to the commitments embodied in the Peace Agreement around alternatives to illicit crops (point 4 of the Peace Accords with the FARC) is notable as a staggering of the State and as a factor that gives legitimacy to a series of actions of resistance of the communities against the attempts of forced eradication.
This fact, together with the profound lack of coordination of the use of force with the actions that the State must develop to honor the commitments made to voluntary substitution agreements as part of the planned methodology, is contributing to circumvent the agreements and state credibility in this matter.
 
As part of this dominant narrative, producers end up being criminalized as part of drug trafficking and as allies of armed groups that in many places control and regulate the markets for cocaine base paste (PBC).
 
Consequently, an excessive use of force and even the indiscriminate use of long-range weapons are taking place to control the expressions of resistance of the producing communities. This is expressed in the deaths of cultivators, in multiple injuries, in the confinement of the population and therefore in a significant increase in human rights violations. There is also a high number of wounded State security personnel.
 
In addition to the above, the absence of the entities that legally must supervise and / or control the actions of public officials and that should ensure compliance with the Human Rights standards by the State, that is, the Office of the State Attorney General, the Municipal Representations and the Ombudsman. These entities must be present in eradication operations as provided by Law 30 of 1986 and which is still in force. This absence could be explained, but not justified, by the demands of the peasantry, for the fears and protocols of those entities in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic and the provisions on confinement, which contrasts with the argument of the Ministry of Defense that it must continue with forced eradication operations.
 
Also, as an entity for the control of decisions and public policies of the central government and related to the previous point, the Congress of the Republic should establish expeditious control mechanisms of the executive body in the field of drug policy given the implications that it is having on many fronts. (social, economic, environmental, political) at the level of multiple territories, due to the type of decisions that are being implemented. Additionally, when using the war on drugs as a justifying element for the militarization of the country, including its border areas, situations of tension are being generated, especially in relation to neighboring Venezuela, which sees the war on drugs as an excuse to allow the presence of foreign troops seeking to implement strategies that may have serious consequences for regional security and peace, including that of the Republic of Colombia itself.
 
Colombia must then seek to reconsider bilateral relations with the United States and seek to strengthen policies that stimulate the internal market. Avoid using other geostrategic interests against Venezuela, distance itself from a failed policy for the neighboring country and promote a peaceful solution.
 
In this sense, macroeconomic measures are required to support peasant economies. This implies taking up point 1 of the peace accords and in the context of the pandemic crisis, developing more robust actions to increase the productive capacities of peasant economies, access to land, more research to strengthen and enrich their economies, production of food and secure markets seeking to stimulate the aggregate demand for services.
 
Finally, the militarization of the territories, as reflected in many local accounts, is expanding without compliance with regard to the use of sanitary and biosafety protection devices. Consequently, local communities fear the spread of the pandemic by the security forces that are sent from different parts of the country. This breaks the protection structure developed by communities, aware of the deficit in sanitary conditions due to a lack of basic services, as well as the worsening of health problems given the precarious infrastructure to deal with a pandemic that demands specialized medical personnel and instruments for its treatment, especially in the most advanced phases. Consequently, this type of action must be suspended, not only due to its illegitimacy in light of the provisions of the Peace Agreement, but also due to the situation that arises as a result of the pandemic.
 

Notes:

1 Figures mentioned by the UNODC Director for Colombia, Pierre Lapaque, and Colombian President Ivan Duque, on a press conference held in Bogota, on June 17, 2020,


Nevertheless, on the ground there are “unified command posts” (PMUs) that are run by the military and in which personnel of the National Substitution Programme participate. The problem is at the local level , since the Substitution Programme (PNIS) is farm to farm while eradication is territorial. This would become more serious when aerial spraying is implemented.

3 The Duque administration has created a government policy through the activation of a so-called Integrated Intervention of Special Zones (ZEII) or Future Zones with funds from development aid destined to the peace agenda.


4 Ricardo Vargas M.: “El problema de drogas que Estados Unidos no quiere ver”, article published in La Razon Publica, August 14, 2017


5 Revista Semana, “Masacre de El Tandil: dos años después, las investigaciones toman un curso inesperado”, April 10, 2019


Ibid.


7 Figures collated from the record kept by the Patriotic March in the report “Violations of Human Rights in operations of forced eradication of crops for illicit use carried out by combined forces of the National Army and the National Police in Colombia.” June 2020. There was another case whose circumstances are not clear to add to this eradication scenario is José Adalberto Torjano, Coordinator of the Peasant Guard in Corinth, with whom he would add 9 cases in the Santos period.


8 One of the results of the Peace Agreement between the guerilla FARC and the government 


9 The hydrographic basin of the Naya river, also known as the "Naya region", is located between the Valle and Cauca departments, bordered on the east by the San Vicente hills (3,000 masl) and Naya, (2,650 masl) on the western mountain range; by the west with the Pacific Ocean; by the north with the change of waters of the Yurumanguí and Naya rivers, and by the south with the change of waters of the Naya and San Juan de Micay rivers. It comprises an approximate area of ​​170,000 hectares. This region is under the jurisdiction of the Municipalities of Buenaventura in the Valley, and López de Micay and Buenos Aires, in Cauca. https://www.prensarural.org/recorre/naya.htm.


10 About production enclaves, see UNODC “Executive Summery Censo Coca 2019”, June 2020. https://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Colombia/Colombia_coca_survey2019_Fact-sheet_ExSum.pdf


11 See Comunidades Construyendo Paz en Colombia, “Ellos son los campesinos detenidos de Mapiripán, Meta”, junio 23 de 2020 https://comunidadesconpaz.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/ellos-son-los-campesinos-detenidos-de-mapiripan-meta/

12 El Tiempo, “Ejército dio su versión sobre campesino muerto en Anorí, Antioquia”, Mayo 23 de 2020. https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/medellin/campesino-en-anori-fue-asesinado-en-extranas-campesinas-498796 


13 Revista Semana, Campesinos denuncian ejecución extrajudicial de un joven en Sardinata 26 de marzo de 2020. https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/campesinos-denuncian-ejecucion-extrajudicial-de-un-joven-en-sardinata/659329


14 El Espectador, Colombia 2020, “Un campesino muerto y tres heridos en un operativo de erradicación forzada en Cúcuta”, mayo 8 de 2020. https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/pais/un-campesino-muerto-y-tres-heridos-en-un-operativo-de-erradicacion-forzada-en-cucuta-articulo-920075/ 


15 El Espectador, “Enfrentamientos por erradicación forzada de coca dejan un muerto en Tumaco”, Abril 22 de 2020. https://www.elespectador.com/colombia2020/territorio/enfrentamientos-por-erradicacion-forzada-de-coca-dejan-un-muerto-en-tumaco-articulo-916008/


16 El Tiempo, “Choque entre campesinos y Esmad por erradicación deja un hombre herido”, 26 de mayo de 2020. https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/otras-ciudades/erradicacion-de-cultivos-en-guaviare-deja-un-campesino-herido-tras-choque-con-el-esmad-499562


17 Vereda Nueva Colombia, región del Guayabero en jurisdicción de Vistahermosa (Meta), RCN Radio, “Campesinos denuncian atropellos de uniformados por erradicación en el Meta”, https://www.rcnradio.com/colombia/llanos/campesinos-denuncian-atropellos-de-uniformados-por-erradicacion-en-el-meta


18 The lady awaited the security forces, with: “the only thing you bring is violence”, “we are not doing anything”, “This video will go to Human Rights, so that they know”. A police officer asks her: “what are you doing with these kids here?, we will take them to Family Welfare!”. The farmers women responds that the children are nourished thanks to the coca that you are destroying, “what are they going to eat now?”. See video El Tiempo “Choque entre campesinos y ESMAD por erradicación deja un hombre herido”, mayo 26 de 2020. https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/otras-ciudades/erradicacion-de-cultivos-en-guaviare-deja-un-campesino-herido-tras-choque-con-el-esmad-499562 y https://twitter.com/ColombiaET/status/1265315557227839488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1265315557227839488&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eltiempo.com%2Fcolombia%2Fotras-ciudades%2Ferradicacion-de-cultivos-en-guaviare-deja-un-campesino-herido-tras-choque-con-el-esmad-499562 


19  See “estudio de cadena de valor de coca para pasta base de cocaína, estudio de caso en Catatumbo y Sur de Bolívar”, Pedro Arenas y Salomón Majbub, Observatorio de cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos, 2018.


20 Juan Carlos Garzón, FIP “La erradicación forzada no ha aumentado, pero los cultivadores la están pasando mal”, La Silla Llena, 29 de mayo de 2020. https://lasillavacia.com/silla-llena/red-de-la-paz/la-erradicacion-forzada-no-ha-aumentado-los-cultivadores-la-estan-pasando


21 Notes taken by author at the Interinstitutional Round Table summoned by the Villavicencio Environmental and Agrarian Attorney to listen to the communities of the Tinigua, Picachos and Macarena parks, on July 1, 2020. The director of the PNIS reported this without being sure when said approach will begin. The Table was suspended because the peasants withdrew due to the lack of guarantees on access to electricity, internet to be at the meeting and for being photographed by members of the security forces.


22 El Tiempo, “La erradicación de cultivos de matas de coca no ha parado en Colombia”, Abril 22 de 2020. https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/conflicto-y-narcotrafico/coronavirus-continuan-las-labores-de-erradicacion-de-coca-en-colombia-487318


23 Attorney Generals’ Office of the Nation. Ethnic Affairs Delegate. Communication to the Ministry of Health of April 28, 2020 in response to the request for suspension authorization of forced eradication of crops for illicit use.