While one TV station visited Africa to give cocoa farmers their first bite of chocolate, another group of journalists traveled to Colombia to give some farmers a taste of their own product.
Cocaine. Whether you’re a stockbroker or a washed-up child actor, the love of it is something that draws us all together. A multinational network of producers, traffickers, and dealers work tirelessly to bring the drug from Central America to its home, your nostrils.
But for the coca leaf farmers of Putumayo, Colombia, the full scope of that network was not understood until a group of American reporters visited and gave them their first taste of the yayo they produce every day.
Camilo, a 26-year-old father of 11, was the first to do a fat rail off one of the reporters’ passports. “Aye dios mio, wow!” he exclaimed while tilting his head back. Camilo said he was amazed that for years he had been a part of cocaine production but had no idea what people used it for. Then he gave a detailed synopsis of every novela on TV and recited the Spanish alphabet, complete with the accented characters, backwards and forwards several times before asking if he could do another line.
The group of reporters then approached Daniel, a 53-year-old Sunday-school teacher and Angelica, a 23-year-old family friend. Angelica ran her finger through the two lines one of the camera operators had poured out onto a take-out menu. Daniel laughed and smiled at the crew, remarking that Angelica didn’t know what cocaine was. He rolled up a coca leaf and did half of one of the lines before offering her some.
Angelica vacuumed up her line and went to finish the rest when Daniel grabbed the leaf from her, scolding her for being greedy. She whispered something in his ear before pulling down his pants, snorting the remaining coke off of his penis, and fellating him in front of everyone.
The rest of the farmers passed the coke around, sniffing, arguing, and bragging about everything they would accomplish in life at what seemed to be double their normal pace. Two men struggled on the ground, trying to strangle one another before rolling on their backs, laughing hysterically.
Ricardo and his wife Maria, the youngest married couple on the farm at 13 and 11 years old respectively, said they were amazed at the energy they had, even after such a long day harvesting coca leaves.
“This stuff is so good. We should buy some more,” said Ricardo while rubbing a finger on his gums.
“Hey, how much do you think we can get for all this stuff?” asked Maria, pointing to the camera that was being used to film her.
Video of the meeting was captured but sadly, was not recovered. It was sold along with all of the crew’s camera equipment, jewelry, and dental fillings.