The long-awaited peace between the Colombian government and FARC rebels has led to an unprecedented boom in the cocaine industry, the Washington Post reports.
Incentives from the government to switch to legal crops have fallen short of achieving their intended effect, as farmers in Columbia’s rural areas are actually planting more coca crop in order to gain government investment and resources in their communities.
What’s more, FARC’s demobilization has removed Columbia’s military from the equation. Where once the military directly engaged FARC and its drug trade, which fueled their insurgency in part, now the fight is an economic and sociological one.
The net effect is booming cocaine production, up to 710 metric tons last year from just 235 metric tons in 2013. There is so much coca being grown in Columbia that the supply is in many cases exceeding demand, with plants left to wither and die in fields as farmers attempt to keep up.