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Discussion: Free Trade Agreements, the Peasant Economy, and Illicit Crops in Colombia
July 13, 2009 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The illicit cultivation of coca in Colombia is not as profitable a business as one would imagine. A new study by Colombian development expert Andrés García, reveals that the majority of small farmers growing coca in the areas studied were earning less than the legal minimum wage. Why do they persist in cultivating coca for illicit use? They simply do not have a viable economic alternative, according to Mr. García’s report. Indeed he found that the majority of peasants used the money to buy basic social services, such as healthcare, which were not provided by the state.
Andrés García’s research was funded by Oxfam and conducted in the departments of Nariño and Cauca. Mr. García will share his experience working directly with coca growing communities and explain what anti-narcotic programs have failed — and which have failed miserably. He will also look at the potential impact of the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on illicit coca cultivation.
For more information contact Sanho Tree firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 787-5266.
This presentation is cosponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America, and the U.S. Office on Colombia.