tampabay.com: know it now
[Times photo: David Adams]
The once luxurious country estate of Colombian drug trafficking kingpin Pablo Escobar has been turned over to a cooperative of demobilized former members of Colombia's illegal armed groups. U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield visited the project recently and hailed the joint U.S.-Colombian project as an example of how productive solutions can be found to end the country's violent, drug-fueled conflict. Today, local women produce chili peppers for export to U.S. Tabasco sauce maker McIlhenny. Diana Martinez, a 25-year-old mother of four gave up her rifle in February 2006. She is now the secretary of the chili pepper co-op. "This project is about much more than chili peppers. We are sowing a new future for Colombia," she said.
Audio Report:
Interview wiith US Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield

Brownfield describes the symbolism and practical purpose of a project to produce chili peppers on Pablo Escobar's former ranch.
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Brownfield describes the evolution of Plan Colombia, the United States $5 billion effort to assist Colombia's war on drugs and terrorism.
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Brownfield says there are lessons to be learned from Colombia's war on drugs, primarily that countries should not ignore the drug problem.
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[Times audio: David Adams]
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