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Colombian rebels switch trade from cocaine to gold

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A decade ago, the Colombian region of Putumayo was the main production centre for coca, the raw material for cocaine. And the guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) were well placed to profit from the illegal drugs trade.

Today, the rebels have found a more lucrative, and far safer, source of income: gold. And the guerrillas are not just extorting money but running some mining operations themselves or demanding a percentage of all production.

The advantage of gold is that it is perfectly legal to transport and sell, unlike cocaine.

Source: BBC