Peace in Colombia Could Be Trouble for American Partiers

FARC responsible for 60% of cocaine coming to US
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2016 3:48 PM CDT
FARC Deal Endangers US' Cocaine Supply
The future of coca fields in Colombia, such as this one, is uncertain after a peace agreement between the government and FARC rebels.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Now that Colombia has ended its 52-year war with rebel group FARC, what happens to Americans who like to party? The New York Times reports FARC controls most of Colombia's cocaine network and in 2006 was said to be responsible for 60% of the cocaine shipped to the US. It's been a very profitable business for FARC, which made between $200 million and $3.5 billion from the cocaine trade every year, according to the Atlantic. But Business Insider reports FARC, which controlled 70% of Colombia's coca-growing areas, agreed to pull out of the drug business and work with the government to transition farmers to legitimate crops as part of the peace agreement.

There are a number of possibilities for what happens to Colombia's coca fields now. The government promises to "fill the space immediately" to prevent organized crime from taking them over, Reuters reports. But a battle over coca production between criminal groups looks likely. "Even if peace is signed there won't be peace," a woman who packs marijuana for dealers says. "They will all come, all the gangs." Farmers themselves may also refuse to stop growing coca, despite subsidies from the government. Farmers who switch to growing fruit, beans, or coffee can make less than one-third what they did from growing coca. "Even if the FARC is demobilized, the problem of violence and crime and drug trafficking in Colombia is not going to go away," an expert told Business Insider back in July. (More Colombia stories.)

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