Colombia: Hard Time


July 23, 2007: The government is shifting from aerial spraying coca plants with pesticides, to manually pulling the plants out of the ground. The new approach is more labor intensive, and requires a lot of troops to keep hostile gunmen from shooting at the workers. But the government is confident that it has the troops, and ability, to move into drug producing areas and manually pull up the coca plants, while also restoring government control.

July 18, 2007: Demand for electricity was up 3.9 percent in June, which is another sign of the economic growth that is making the government popular, and putting the various leftist and criminal gangs on the defensive. While there's no decline in the amount of cocaine being shipped to North American and Europe, it's getting more expensive, and dangerous (especially for the gang leaders) to do. While the money is nice, many of the drug gangsters are becoming demoralized because of the increased risk. Too many of the top guys are being hauled off the U.S. for trial, and life in an American prison. That's considered hard time, compared to life in a Colombian prison, where a gang leader can bribe guards to allow all manner of luxuries in.


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