The FARC and Colombia's Illegal Drug Trade

John Otis
2014 unpublished
In 2014, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Latin America's oldest and largest guerrilla army known as the FARC, marked the 50th anniversary of the start of its war against the Colombian government. More than 220,000 people have been killed 1 and more than five million people uprooted 2 from their homes in the conflict, which is the last remaining guerrilla war in the Western Hemisphere. However, this grim, half-century milestone coincides with peace negotiations between the Colombian
more » ... overnment and the FARC that began in Havana, Cuba, in November 2012. The Havana talks have advanced much farther than the three previous efforts to negotiate with the FARC and there is a growing sense that a final peace treaty is now likely. 3 So far, the two sides have reached agreements on three of the five points on the negotiating agenda, including an accord to resolve an issue that helps explain why the conflict has lasted so long: The FARC's deep involvement in the taxation, production, and trafficking of illegal drugs. On May 16, 2014, the government and the FARC signed an agreement stating that under the terms of a final peace treaty, the two sides would work in tandem to eradicate coca, the plant used to make cocaine, and to combat cocaine trafficking in areas under guerrilla control. The FARC "has LATIN AMERICAN PROGRAM