Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos opted for grandiloquence on June 23 in Paris, France, declaring the end of the Colombian guerrilla group with which his government signed a peace deal last year. In Colombia, however, many doubts about the process remain, especially in remote interior areas where the guerrillas had replaced the state.
Authorities in Colombia dismantled a cocaine processing laboratory in the department of Putumayo along the border with Ecuador, a further indication that dissident elements of the demobilizing FARC guerrilla group are maintaining operations in this traditional trafficking hub.
Authorities in Colombia have denied a drug trafficker's attempts to pass himself off as a demobilizing FARC guerrilla, but released a guerrilla wanted for drug trafficking in the United States. The contrasting cases highlight the difficulties Colombia faces in legally untangling the drug trade from the conflict, a process that if not handled carefully will provide ammunition to those seeking to undermine the peace process.
A new report by an advocacy group based in Bolivia details how the Andean nation's failed experiences with forced coca eradication can be used as a lesson for Colombia, which is witnessing a surge in cocaine production amid the implementation of a peace deal with the FARC rebel group.