Colombia’s two anti-coca strategies are at war with each other

Forced eradication is proceeding faster than voluntary crop substitution
The Economist (UK)
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

colombia erradicacion forzosaThe government’s “comprehensive programme for illicit crop substitution” (PNIS) aims to replace the coca with a profitable legal crop. The crop-substitution strategy is set out in a peace accord that in 2016 ended more than 50 years of war between the government and the FARC, a leftist guerrilla group. It is part of a broader project to bring stability and better living standards to swathes of the countryside once controlled by the FARC. The government says it reserves forced eradication for industrial-scale plantations controlled by large drug gangs, and for farmers who refuse to participate in crop substitution. The two approaches are supposed to complement each other. The government wants to eradicate by force 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres) of coca this year.