RealNews

Pulling Colombia’s coca by hand

The team of farm workers was almost cheerful as they toiled in the small field under the blazing sun, yanking up one coca bush after another. They were fresh off the helicopters that had dropped them in the middle of this guerrilla-controlled national park to uproot thousands of acres of the plant that yields the main ingredient in cocaine. Hoover Vera, one of the workers, joked that never in his life had he expected to have bodyguards, a luxury usually reserved for Colombia’s elite. “How can we not be safe with all these police around with so many guns,” he said last month gesturing to police units resting in the shade of a tree. Full Story

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