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World’s Biggest Cocaine Producer Rethinks the War on Drugs

Anti-narcotics police officers stand guard over packages of cocaine, seized in Buenaventura, Colombia.

Anti-narcotics police officers stand guard over packages of cocaine, seized in Buenaventura, Colombia.

Photographer: Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg

Colombia, the world’s biggest producer of cocaine, is rethinking the war on drugs which it has waged for decades backed by US military aid. Minutes after taking office last month, leftist President Gustavo Petro called for a new approach, saying in his inaugural speech that the policies pursued by Bogota and Washington have fueled violence while failing to cut consumption. More details about the change of tack are emerging every week.

Here is what we know so far: