Between Rocks And A Hard Place, A Warlord Rules

There are several good reasons to deal in emeralds instead of drugs in Colombia. First, emeralds can be worth 50 times as much as cocaine, ounce for ounce. Second, in the great turf war, the emerald men have achieved an uneasy truce: Until a year ago, the emerald trade was even more dangerous than drug trafficking. A "green war" killed some 4,000 people over a five-year period. Recently, I flew into the mining town of Qupama to see how the peace was holding up.

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