Everyone said the guerrillas and coca will never be stopped by military force but only through massive financial aid to address social and economic inequities.
The stated goal of Plan Colombia is to help the Colombian police aerially fumigate the country's thousands of acres of coca and poppy farms.
Generally, reconnaissance flights are conducted over areas identified by the CNP in their quarterly coca crop estimates.
and Colombian teams also visit randomly chosen fields, security permitting, to verify that the treated plants were indeed coca.
Of course we're against this policy," complained Baldomero Caceres, an adviser to Peru's state-owned ENACO (Empresa Nacional de la Coca), which exists solely to buy domestic production of coca leaf and sell it on the local market.
The 61-year-old Caceres, who munched happily on coca leaves during an interview in his Lima office, said he wouldn't have the stamina to climb the ruins of Machu Picchu at his age without the energizing effects of coca.
There is an epidemic of coca
paste use in South American countries, he says, which has led to numerous psychiatric hospital admissions.
Bolivian Congressman Evo Morales, the cocalero leader who came within 43,000 votes of winning the popular vote for president in 2002, warns that if a solution isn't found, there will be "permanent confrontation, and coca
will become synonymous with militarization, synonymous with war.
FARC has targeted paramilitary coca
fields, killing peasants working there.
State Department, in collaboration with the Colombian government, has spent roughly $3 billion from 2000 to 2004 to put a stop to the cultivation of coca
and thus reduce its availability in the United States.