A key test case for manual eradication of coca


Less than a month after guerrillas killed 29 soldiers outside Colombia’s Sierra de la Macarena National Park, President Álvaro Uribe on Jan. 19 ordered hundreds of laborers and troops into the park to uproot the coca plants that he said were making the guerrillas rich. Army helicopters ferried 930 laborers—many of them former coca growers—to coca fields in the thickly forested park in southern Colombia’s Meta state. Meanwhile, some 2,000 soldiers equipped with mine detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs secured the area, and policemen blew up bridges and roads used for drug trafficking. The operation seeks over the next three months to eliminate all 11,400 acres (4,600 has) of coca in the 1.56-million-acre (630,000-ha) park, as well as dozens of... [Log in to read more]

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