September 10, 2005
The economic basis of most of the violence in the country, the production of cocaine, is proving resilient to all attempts to destroy it. The basic problem is that growing coca generates several times as much cash than any other crop. Spraying, and having coca bushes pulled out by hand, is reducing the acreage of coca plants, but this is not wiping out the crop. The cocaine business still thrives. It appears that there will always be some growing of coca deep in the mountains, just as their are still marijuana growers deep in rural areas of the United States. But the Colombian government is on its way to taking back control of rural areas that have long been ruled by the rebels and drug gangs.