At least 1,500 coca plants were manually uprooted and destroyed by members of the army and national police in Western Colombia, Colombia’s media reported on Tuesday.
Colombia’s Caracol Radio reported that members of the local community alerted authorities to the cultivation of the crops, which were found growing in the western state of Caldas.
No arrests have yet been made in relation to the cultivation of the plants, according to the national police. They report on their website that “such activities continue to flourish across the Caldas region. Considering the illegality of growing these crops, this is the beginning of a chain of crimes that results in drug-use in cities.”
The government action comes just weeks after they agreed to a negotiation point in talks with Colombia’s largest rebel group, FARC.
During the third round of peace talks earlier this month, delegates from both the FARC and the government agreed in a joint-communication that the cultivation of illicit crops and the subsequent trafficking of drugs has led to conditions of poverty, marginalization, weak institutional presences, and the existence of criminal organizations.
As a solution, both parties agreed to implement a “National Program for the substitution of the illicit uses of coca, poppy, and marijuana crops.”
- Erradican 1.500 matas de hoja de coca en el oriente de Caldas (Caracol Radio)
- Acciones contundentes contra cultivos ilícitos (Policía Nacional de Colombia)