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In the lands of “San Coca”: a journey into Colombia’s thriving illegal economy

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Deep in the Cauca mountains, in the southwest of the world's main cocaine-producing country, are the "San Coca" territories, thus named because of the devotion to the crop that provides everything there.

Some 10,000 people have turned to the forbidden crop after reaping losses with yucca, corn, coffee and sugar cane. "We don't consider ourselves part of the State, because for the State we don't exist or else we are a hindrance," says community leader Reinaldo Bolaños.

In these villages along the Patía River the "coca economy" was established . . .

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