The fourth item on the agenda of talks “to end the conflict,” on the issue of drugs, seems to reflect rather a flat and simplistic view of the classic circuit of drug production, processing, trafficking and use. The relationship between drugs and armed conflict in Colombia is in fact much more complex. This report analyses the challenges that drug trafficking poses to the development of a sustainable peace.
It is unfortunate that 35 years after the first chemical spraying in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we are still writing about aerial sprayings in Colombia, demanding the current government – how many governments have not happened since! – to definitely defer an ecocide and incompetent policy. Throughout these years we have seen increasing national and international voices opposing the spraying of coca with the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate).
Despite efforts by governments in Latin America, illicit drugs continue to provide one of the largest incomes for criminal organizations, enabling them to penetrate and corrupt political and social institutions.
A recent analysis on the relationship between local drug markets and violence and crime in Colombia illustrates the dynamics driving the domestic drug trade, and provides recommendations for comprehensive government interventions designed to result in long-lasting security improvements.