Colombia Calls a Draw in the War on Drugs

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2014
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Foreign Policy: Democracy Lab, June 13, 2014
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After years of bloodshed, Colombia's government is teaming up with its former rebel enemies to beat the drug problem.

Colombia, the drug war may soon be coming to an end. In early May, negotiators from the Colombian government and the rebel group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) reached an agreement on drug trafficking as part of their effort to end the country's 50-year old conflict. Shifting away from old, controversial methods like crop fumigation, the new deal focuses on substituting crops, taking on organized crime and cartels, and treating drugs as a public health issue to treat addicts and reduce demand. It's a historic move -- and good news for President Juan Manuel Santos, who faces an increasingly popular opposition candidate in second-round elections on June 15.