Cannabis plants grown openly and extensively on mountainsides only a few hours from the city of Cali. To help stimulate the cannabis plants growth artificial lighting is used during the night for the first two months of cultivation. The lights visible across the far mountainside are other farms growing both coca and cannabis. The area was until recently controlled by FARC guerrillas who, as part of the peace accords, are now restricted to designated camps under UN supervision. To maintain stability and to prevent any other armed groups, including the Colombian national army, from entering the area, locals have formed an unarmed vigilante groups to monitor all movement inside the territory.
Poverty is widespread in this area, even among farmers who cultivate and produce the illegal drug crops, and since many, if not most, families rely on this income, they have little choice but to keep growing the illicit crops and protecting them from the frequent official eradication programmes which would wipe out their livelihood.