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 Full text 
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Recent developments in the political situation and the implementation of the peace process in Colombia (debate)

  David Bull (NI). – Mr President, Colombia has been in a state of continual conflict since before the 19th century, involving many parties with vested interest. Therefore, the revised peace deal brokered in 2016 between the Colombian state and FARC is extremely welcome. FARC was made to cease parliament military activity and became a mainstream party. But the legitimisation of one group has left a power vacuum; other militant groups and factions have emerged keen to exploit the gap in the market, particularly in cocaine.

It is estimated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that there has been a year-on-year rise of 31% in cocaine production, estimated to be worth USD 2.7 billion. This provides almost unlimited capital for these groups, further entrenching their positions, provoking further conflict and crime in the region. So the revised peace deal has not brought peace. It has merely removed one group and replaced it with others.

As a medical doctor, I know the cocaine industry has a very real impact on people’s lives, not just in Colombia or South America but here in Europe too. So we must find permanent solutions and revisit drug policy to tackle this exponential growth.

Last updated: 30 September 2019Legal notice