The sub-region of Catatumbo, in Norte de Santander, was an area historically affected by violence. Your condition is on the border is a territory which is favorable to the cycle of planting, production and trafficking of illicit crops more fluid.
According to the report published by the Integrated Monitoring System of Illicit Crops (SIMCI) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the National Government, the second department is the most affected by the cultivation of coca is on the North of Santander, with an increase of 24.1 % in 2019.
This figure was generated alert in the eleven municipalities of Catatumbo, where peasants and farmers of coca, the fear that it will continue to increase the distance of force and to eradicate their properties.
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The Asociación Campesina del Catatumbo (Ascamcat) has rejected strongly the failure of the volunteer program of replacement in the Population; they emphasize that the forced eradication has increased the problems and provides no solutions to the scourge of drugs.
“This report reflects that in Norte de Santander are sitting the foundation for the farmers to continue to earn a living from the crops of illicit use”, indicated Holmer Perez, the director of Ascamcat.
For Perez, the National Government has violated the families that are part of a Comprehensive National Programme of Crop Substitution (PNIS) in the Population.
“Farmers need to be recognized as subjects of rights, for decades, have borne the burden of the war. The Population is not only coca, produces food, and in this moment they are losing,” he added.
From the beginning of the quarantine, and after the declaration of a public health emergency, the Government has intensified its operations to eradicate forced in the municipality of Sardinata, and the rural area of Cúcuta, where there were clashes between the community and the National Army, that led to the death of two farmers.
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The community report that the coca leaf is the only source of income and warn that the concentration of military and erradicadores of the region, represents a violation of the four points of the peace process and the voluntary agreement of a replacement was signed in September of 2017.
So far in the course of the year, the three leaders were killed in the Catatumbo. The killings have their genesis in the eradication of illicit crops.
Juan Felipe Corzo, secretary of the Government of Norte de Santander, lamented the figures that the location of the department the second area with more hectares of coca.
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“Unfortunately, Norte de Santander registered a 24% increase in hectares planted in coca cultivation. It is a pity that the department reach this figure and we have only 3,000 families, linked to the PNIS, which is equal to 3 percent of the families who have committed to replace voluntarily the crops around the country,” said Roe.
The official said that the Governor of North of Santander, is the goal of the formulation of a pilot program of replacement of illicit crops. “This is a project that gives us the certainty and security for farmers, to see a volunteer base for the rural population, giving a step from illegality to legality”, said.
Authorities in Norte de Santander have applied to the National Government, the suspension of the processes for the eradication of forced of the department, because of problems with the rural communities.
JORGE ANDRES CARVAJAL
For THE MOMENT