Illicit Crops and Alternative Development in Colombia Introduction Anders Rudqvist
Colombia • the world’s largest producer of cocaine • the largest heroin producer in the American hemisphere • Coca and poppy cultivation is taking place in regions or areas where presence of the State (army, public institutions) is weak (physically, politically and socially)
Main actors • Direct producers – small-scale and medium peasants – ”industrial” producers • Criminal cartels – from a few large to many small • Paramilitary groups – extreme right • Guerrillas – FARC, ELN • Army and Police forces
The main actors in the Colombian narcotics circuit varyingly described as • a national political project • an army attempting to take over power • a territorial power • an actor in the local conflicts of the ”Other Colombia” • a way of life - rent seekers - groups of criminals • actor in context of local degenerated violence
Territorial control • Illicit crop cultivation and drug trafficking require territorial control • production and trafficking, as well as the very armed conflict are focused upon territorial control • have resulted in drastically increasing indices of land concentration
What are consumer countries doing? Terms and conditions of international trade Subsidized exports of agricultural produce Prevention, treatment and care for drug addicts and consumers at risk What are producer countries doing? Social, economic conditions of peasant producers - land tenure/reforms Measures against political and economic corruption Demand and Supply side
Policies for illicit crop and drug trafficking reduction • The US and the Colombian government: • Repression/interdiction combined with aerial fumigation and compulsory alternative development programs • The UN and EU: interdiction combined with voluntary alternative development programs – opposed to aerial fumigation
Common features and patterns Colombia Afghanistan Laos • Societies torn by internal warfare • Role of illicit crops and trafficking for war efforts • Weak central State vs. strong local/regional forces • Sociological factors - livelihoods approach • What have we learned from evolution of IDPs and regional development projects?