Having failed to internationalize this particular aspect of his juvenile experience, he set about drawing parallels between coca plants
and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, in which fear of proliferation of both served to mask endeavors by authorities to extract resources from the earth.
Roughly 55 percent of Colombians live below the poverty line, driving thousands of poor farmers to grow the lucrative coca plant
. Coca farmers can earn at least $550 (US) a month, roughly double the monthly minimum wage.
US Tests on marijuana and poppy successfully used 2.5 liters of glyphosate per hectare, but for Colombia's coca plants
that ratio swelled to 10.41 liters per hectare.
While the government accuses Indigenous communities of growing the illicit coca plants
to fund the FARC, the FARC accuses Indigenous communities of siding with the government and its paramilitaries because they refuse to use the FARC as a means for change.
The farmers have blocked the main road through the Sorata valley eight miles from the city in protest at the government's war on the production of the coca plant
, which is refined into cocaine.
It all goes back to the leaves of the unremarkable South American coca plant
that the locals have been chewing as a pick-meup for centuries.
Cocaine is an alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the coca plant
. Used medicinally as an anesthetic, it is also widely abused as a drug.
Extracts of the tea-like Erythroxylon coca plant
leaves contains cocaine.
Arnaud found himself in the dilemma of how to address the fate of the Colombian poor who support themselves by cultivating the coca plant
State Department officials say that without sugar cane, farmers in tropical nations are increasingly turning to growing marijuana and the coca plant
, the raw product for cocaine.
The police had earlier suspected that the floating cocaine packages may have been meant for Australia, as Filipino drug addicts favor relatively cheap shabu, rather than cocaine, which is processed from the Coca plant
abundant in South America and is the most common drug favored by addicts in the United States.
Gordon went to Colombia to see how the drug is made, a production process which involves mixing the coca plant
with ingredients such as battery acid and gasoline.