Members of a Colombian anti-drug squad set a processing lab ablaze in the jungles of Guaviare department in an operation targeting cocaine production. The illicit drug trade will continue to drive instability in some regions of the country.
(GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
By the time Colombia's next president enters office, politically motivated violence in the country may have become a thing of the past, thanks to the government's recent peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). But even if voters approve the final deal with the FARC, the end of the insurgency will eliminate only one of Colombia's security concerns. The manufacture and trade of illegal drugs, a major driver of instability in some areas of the country, will continue unabated.
The illicit drug business, specifically the production and sale of cocaine, has troubled Colombia for some time. And though the FARC, which gets some of its funding from the drug trade, may demobilize, that aspect of the country's vast illegal economy will stay in place. Moreover, a recent shift in the government's strategy has made its fight against the illegal coca trade more difficult, raising the risk of regional...