Colombia's FARC Wants Legal Coca Cultivation

In peace talks in Havana Tuesday, Colombia's FARC guerrillas called on the Colombian government to consider legalizing coca cultivation. The proposal was part of the FARC's broader proposal on agrarian development and land reform.

FARC negotiator Rube Zamora (pazfarc-ep.blogspot.com)
The proposal came one day after the FARC ended its self-imposed cease-fire (the Colombian government never agreed to a cease-fire during the peace talks) and launched a series of attacks on security forces, leaving at least one soldier dead.

The FARC is a socialist político-military formation that has been in rebellion against the central government in Bogota since 1964. Its military strength seems to have peaked about a decade ago, but it remains a potent forcé in some sectors of rural Colombia.

After first opposing the cultivation of coca among the peasantry, it gradually shifted to supporting and taxing it, and the group has had some involvement in the cocaine trade as well. Colombia is either the world's largest or second largest coca and cocaine producer, depending on which figures you believe. That's despite more than $7 billion in US anti-drug and counterinsurgency assistance since 1999 and massive, years-long aerial fumigation campaigns.

In its agrarian reform proposal, FARC negotiator Rube Zamora called on the government to "contemplate actions regarding the cultivation of illicit crops to transition toward substitute or alternative production or for their legalization for medicinal or therapeutic ends or cultural reasons."

More broadly, the FARC called for the creation of a "land bank" of unused or underused areas that could be distributed to landless peasants and for a more democratic method of rural planning. The land would include "latifundia," or large rural estates, confiscated from drug traffickers. The proposal marks a retreat from the previous FARC position that called for the seizure and redistribution of all latifundia.

There is no word on the Colombian government's response to the proposals. Both parties in the talks have agreed not to talk publicly about their progress. They restarted Tuesday after going on hiatus for the Christmas holidays.

Havana
Cuba
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Remember the paraquat...

Thank Ronald "Chesterfield is My Cigarette" Reagan for the cocaine epidemic subsequent to $$US military "assistance" in exterminating the Colombian cannabis crop (remember "Got dat Bo"?) including the bombing of croplands with toxic pesticides (and unknown consequences for the genetics of humans and animals).  This stands alongside the 70's attack on Afghan hashish giving us the world's biggest heroin business instead, and recent  drone surveillance of US growhouses causing many operators to switch to more easily concealed crystal meth manufacturing instead.

Ah the unintended consequences

If there's one thing that the drug war has taught us it's the law of unintended consequences.As humans we just never learn that you can't mess with anything without affecting everything that surrounds it.Our lack of understanding on this is astounding.Can anyone say that the drug war hasn't spread drug abuse like a plague all over the world?If there really is a drug war at all.I sometimes think there is just a war on the poor.Even the US army sold heroin and cocaine that we know of.They did this on a global and monumental scale,even as they expanded their rhetoric on the horrors of drug abuse.Crack was a product that sprang right out of Iran/contra.For this,Oliver North got a show on Faux Noise.

Arrest mother nature because

Arrest mother nature because she is the one who made it. Mary J.

grow

How about the best of ALL WORLDS. Buy, sell, grow your own. It keeps a lid on taxes. kamille

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