What Happened: Colombian Defense Minister Guillermo Botero said Aug. 9 that the government has decided to forcibly eradicate coca plants in the country, Caracol Radio reported.
Why It Matters: While decreased coca production will improve relations with the United States, forced eradication will likely increase conflict with criminal groups, who may turn to extortion and kidnapping to maintain their income.
Background: Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos ended forced eradication in his second term to reduce the associated violence. Instead, Santos pursued negotiations toward voluntary reductions in cultivation that contributed to a spike in coca production.
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