To control cocaine kingpins and violence in Colombia, the U.S. has spent $25 billion for military hardware and training in a quarter century. And the policy has hardly changed. But now, a new president, Juan Manuel Santos, is taking on the elephant in the room that no one ever paid much attention to. He's seizing land from corrupt local bosses and drug traffickers. A huge swath of land — about three times the size of Maryland — was stolen by corrupt warlords or simply abandoned by poor farmers in 30 years of conflict, creating a huge humanitarian problem. The idea now is to get that land back in the hands of peasants and resolve a problem that is the root of Colombia's conflict.
Colombia's President Targets Stolen Land
News & Features Juan Forero · NPR ·