Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, said Tuesday it would support the creation of an ‘‘international coordinating body’’ to monitor the cultivation of coca, poppy and marijuana in the context of the FARC’s alternative drug policy proposal.
The announcement came as an addendum to a five-point proposal previously released by the FARC delegation to ongoing peace talks with the Colombian government, taking place in Havana, Cuba. The proposal would decriminalize the production of coca, poppy and marijuana, and offer farmer’s viable crop alternatives to phase out narcotics production.
FARC peace delegate Victoria Sandino added Tuesday that a level of international control and monitoring would oversee the transition to and progress of the FARC proposal.
A body comprised of members of the United Nation’ss Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and the international academic community would act as regulator of Colombian drug policy, drawing from an annual budget paid for by the state and reporting regularly to the international and national communities.
As the proposal now stands, the FARC is calling for:
- Creation of a national program for the substitution of the illicit uses of coca, poppy and marijuana crops
- Consultation and direct involvement of the producing communities
- Compensation and incentives for producing communities and workers
- Alternative development plans
- State funding for said alternative development plans
- International control and monitoring
According to the FARC, there are “dietary, nutritional, medicinal, therapeutic, artisanal, industrial and cultural uses” for crops involved in the illicit narcotics trade. Production, the rebels argue, should therefore be subject to “alternative development plans’’.
Illicit drug cultivation is the topic currently being discussed in the Havana peace talks, which began in November 2012, and the third of six scheduled agenda items overall.