Originally published on ISN Security Watch, September 8, 2006.
Zero coca policies and a lack of security harm sustainable economic development and contribute to a poor history of alternative development in Bolivia and Colombia.
By Sam Logan
Alternative development programs in South America’s Andean countries have a long history of tension and conflict. Many examples of success stories exist, but the balance often tips in favor of poor implementation and distrust.
The reasons why alternative development economic programs succeed or fail rarely bubble to the surface. US officials compute statistics that may conceal very real concerns. Left behind in this process are the farmers surrounded by dead coca bushes and little by the way of real economic development to show for it.