A representative of Columbian farmers who grow coca, poppy and marijuana will speak at the Alexandria Technical and Community College about the Columbian war on drugs.
Leider Valencia's visit is sponsored by the Inclusion Network, an Alexandria-based group whose goal is to foster appreciation and understanding of diversity and cultural differences. Valencia is touring the Midwest with Witness for Peace Midwest, a nonprofit organization that supports peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices.
The event, from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, will take place on campus in Room 211. Attendees may bring their lunch. A short documentary film, "The Coca Trap," will accompany his talk, "Eradicating Peace: The Other Side of the Columbian War on Drugs."
Valencia has organized peasant farmers and their group, the Growers of Coca, Poppy, and Marijuana, which began working toward alternative sustainable development following peace accords between rebels and the Columbian government in 2017. He will discuss forces threatening the Colombian peace process in rural areas and how the U.S. could help.