Colombia: July 11, 2004


The government believes that its crop spraying program is destroying more drug plants (coca) than drug gang supported farmers can replace with new fields. In 2001, Colombia had 419,000 acres planted in coca and harvested, but 232,000 were sprayed with herbicide and destroyed. In 2002, only 357,000 acres were planted, but 322,000 acres were sprayed. Last year, 281,000 acres were planted, and 314,000 acres were sprayed. Drug production is down two years in a row, and cash flow for the drug gangs, and rebel groups that live off them, is down. The cash crunch among the rebel groups has caused them to lose fighters (who are not being paid) and increased infighting among rebel organizations, as the gunmen fight over a shrinking pile of cash.  



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