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Is forced erradication of coca crops effective?

Authors: Tatiana Martínez, Edgar Castro

In Colombia, several attempts have been made to control coca leaf production through aerial eradication, manual eradication, and voluntary crop substitution. Available results from areas throughout the country suggest that these measures have not been successful and have instead had negative effects on the population. Rigorous studies on the effectiveness of anti-drug policies indicate that measures that attack the strongest links in the value chain of the drug trade, such as seizures, have better results than eradication mechanisms. More research is needed to evaluate the impact and efficiency of sustainable development and state strengthening policies as these approaches seem to have a greater long-term impact and fewer negative side effects on civilian population, though requiring greater investment.