How Entrepreneurs Can Fight Drug Traffickers
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
There’s nothing like attending the heady, exhilarating Clinton Global Initiative to get me out of the operational trenches of entrepreneurship for social change. But this year, I was distracted by a conversation taking place just down the street at the UN General Assembly—on drug trafficking.
It received scant attention amidst CGI’s fanfare, but last week the presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala implored the UN body to lead an international dialogue on new ways to combat the scourge.
Drug trafficking concerns me deeply. For one, it threatens many of my organization’s clients on the back roads of Latin America—the small-and-growing agricultural businesses that act as economic engines of rural communities, lifting small-scale farmers out of poverty.
Take Apodip, a farmer cooperative located two hours outside the town of Coban in Alta Verapaz in north-central Guatemala. Its 500 producers, who speak only Keqchi and Pokomchi, grow coffee and cardamom on shady forested plots in the buffer zone of the magnificent cloud forest of Sierra de las Minas.