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Colombia, FARC Reach Deal on Drug Trade

  • VOA News

FILE - Jesus Santrich (R) of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia with fellow FARC member Andres Paris during peace talks in Havana.

FILE - Jesus Santrich (R) of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia with fellow FARC member Andres Paris during peace talks in Havana.

Colombia's government and the rebel group FARC say they have reached an agreement on ending the illegal drug trade.

The deal calls for FARC to cooperate with the government in convincing farmers to grow crops other than coca, which is used to make cocaine.

The announcement was made Friday in Havana where the two sides have been negotiating an end to a 50-year-old insurgency.

Colombia was the world's leading producer of cocaine until Peru recently overtook it in cultivation of coca. The cocaine industry has been the major source of funds for the Marxist rebel group and a cause of crime and instability in the South American country.

With the agreement on ending the drug trade, the two sides have resolved three of the six points on their agenda. Previously FARC and the government had reached deals on agrarian reform and political participation.

FARC has also announced a unilateral cease-fire for a week around Colombia's presidential election, scheduled for May 25.
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