Does Land Titling Matter? The Role of Land Property Rights in Colombia’s War on Drugs
IDS Policy Briefing 156
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The ‘war on drugs’ has failed. Despite an increase in law enforcement, production levels of coca – the crop used to make cocaine – have hardly altered in the last decade.
A 2017 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that coca cultivation in Colombia had increased by 52 per cent; thus, there is an urgent need to find alternative policies to counter illicit behaviour. Research by the Institute of Development Studies found that regions in Colombia with a higher level of land titling, where people who have worked land for many years are given formal ownership of it, witnessed a greater reduction in the area of land used to grow coca.