A boy swimming in a river, in the foreground is a coca-plant. Coca leaves (for cocaine-production) are grown openly and extensively in these mountains only a few hours from the city of Cali. 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.