Peasants Booted for Biofuel Bucks

Green crop brings black days for displaced Colombian farmers
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 5, 2007 4:40 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Paramilitary gangs are driving thousands of Colombian farmers from their land to make way for the nation's latest lucrative crop: palm oil to produce biofuel, the Guardian reports. The violent land grabs have helped create some 3 million displaced Colombians. "It's the dark side of biofuel," said a spokesman for Christian Aid.

A government investigation into palm oil plantations in certain areas reportedly found irregularities in 80% of the titles, apparently doctored to make the property seizures look legal. Palm oil production, intended to edge out Colombia's illegal coca trade, has surged.  But coca production also continues to grow, despite U.S.-funded eradication efforts.