The Colombian government released a document outlining some of the points agreed upon between the FARC and the Colombian government, national radio station Caracol reported on Wednesday.
The High Commissioner for Peace released some of the points agreed upon with respect to a recent deal made between the Colombian government negotiators and the FARC rebels concerning drug trafficking and the cultivation of illicit crops, according to Caracol Radio.
The agreement outlined the necessity to halt the cultivation and trafficking of illicit drugs, and to view them in a different light to combat the causes and consequences of the phenomenon. It was also agreed upon to look at drug consumption as a public health issue, rather than a criminal offense.
The FARC agreed to end all relations with drug trafficking in the event of a peace agreement with the government, seeing it as a necessary condition for peace.
Both the government and the FARC promised to clear up the relation between the armed conflict and the cultivation, production, and commercialization of illicit drugs and the laundering of assets derived from them, with the goal of ending the threat drug trafficking poses to Colombia.
One of the major agreements between the two parties also dealt with the substitution of illicit crops with legal ones, finding a sustainable alternative. Accomplishing this would mean creating a government-funded substitution program that would work with farmers to resolve the issues associated with crop substitution.
Crop substitution would support farmers by moving them into legality and guaranteeing their rights.
The program will seek to replace illicit crops on a voluntary basis, as opposed to forced eradication. Those who do not comply, will have crops manually eradicated as opposed to aerial spraying, a method employed by the government to rid the countryside of illicit crops.
The two parties recognized the difficulty of crop substitution in areas where anti-personnel mines are used to deter troops from entering. The FARC and the government will jointly work towards ridding the countryside of un-exploded mines and other munitions that hinder the end of the conflict by sharing information with regards to the whereabouts of these devices and their eventual removal.
The FARC and the government agreed to a new approach with regards to consumption of drugs, including a separation of policy concerning the persecution of organized crime and treatment of drug addicts. The formation of a program to combat drug consumption through rehabilitation and reintegration into society was a part of this plan.
By recognizing the damage drug trafficking has caused to Colombia and by realizing that there will be other drug trafficking groups, there is a necessity to eliminate all connections between drug trafficking and political violence.
This requires the pursuit of organized crime involved in drug trafficking and the furthering of efforts against laundering of assets. Also, the government would firmly control production, importation, and commercialization of chemical precursors to drug production, as well as solidify the fight against corruption within the government with regards to trafficking.
The Colombian government will promote a conference via the United Nations to reflect on drug policy and the construction of a consensus among the international community in this regard.
The FARC is Colombia’s oldest rebel group and one of the longest surviving pioneers of drug trafficking active since the 1970s. Drug trafficking has long fueled the guerrillas’ war against the state.
The conflict, that began in 1964, cost the lives of more than 220,000 civilians according to the government. More than 10% of the population has been forcibly displaced from their land.
Peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC have been underway since August 2012, currently being held in Havana, Cuba. Drug cultivation and trafficking was the third of six topics on the negotiation agenda for the Colombian peace talks.
Agreements on the first two points, agrarian reform and political participation, were signed in May and November of last year, respectively.
- ABC del punto acordado con las Farc sobre cultivos ilícitos (Caracol Radio)