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Cocaine Country



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Cash Crop
Photograph by Carlos Villalón

Bright lights bring few customers to Peñas Coloradas on a weeknight. This market center for the communities that lie along this stretch of the remote Caguán River in southern Colombia fills up only on weekends. Farmers from the surrounding countryside come to shop, socialize, and sell dealers their main product: cocaine base, a crumbly powder made from the leaves of the coca bush. Refining the base produces cocaine hydrochloride (HCl)—pure cocaine destined for the streets of the U.S. and Europe.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1
Film Type: Fujicolor 800 
Lens: 17-35mm Canon f/2.8
Speed and F-Stop: Unrecorded
Weather Conditions: Overcast
Time of Day: Dusk
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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