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tv   Our World  BBC News  March 8, 2020 9:30pm-10:01pm GMT

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hello, i'm karin giannone. this is bbc world news. the headlines: italy has announced a large increase in the number of people who have died from coronavirus. the toll has risen to 366 from 233 in the past 2a hours. it's by far the biggest daily rise since the outbreak reached italy. china has reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since january. officials said there were only 84 new infections across the country on saturday. another former candidate for the democratic party's presidential nomination has given her support tojoe biden. kamala harris said she would do everything in her power to help him get elected. events have been held around the world to mark international women's day.
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this march took place in pakistan, but there was some opposition from religious groups. at 10pm, clive myrie will be here with a full round up of the day's news. now on bbc news, our world. colombia has long been the world's largest producer of cocaine. our world travelled to the cauca valley in the country to find that farmers are now caught between new criminal gangs with devastating consequences. for years, i have been reporting on the uk's voracious appetite for illegal drugs. i have watched the market being flooded by cocaine that's cheaper than ever. so i've come to colombia, where 70% of the world's cocaine is produced, to find out why. i'm getting rare access, a chance to meet the cocaine producers in one of the most dangerous places in south america. and to meet the smugglers who are sending the drugs abroad.
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how many of those shipments would you expect to reach europe? criminal gangs are killing anyone who stands in their way. those gangs are never far away. some armed men have been spotted nearby. i want to discover what's happening now in colombia that's making cocaine in the uk more available than it's ever been. for 50 years, colombia was home to the world's longest running civil war but in 2016, a historic peace deal was signed with the main rebel group, the farc. a new future was the promise — newjobs, new roads — all negating the need for the farc to produce cocaine to finance
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their political goals. but just a year after signing the deal, cocaine production reached record levels — up nearly a third to around 1.5 million kilograms. i am heading to an area where the cocaine trade begins. this road takes me to one of the main cocaine—producing parts of colombia. what i'm hoping to do here is to meet some of the farmers who are growing the coca leaves. colombia has spent billions of dollars eradicating coca plantations, so farms are well—hidden. when you come here, you begin to realise how absolutely professional these criminal gangs must be if they can get a tiny amount of cocaine from these remote areas to the bars and clubs of britain. the peace deal weakened the farc, allowing other criminal
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organisations and dissident farc members to seize control. abandoning political ideology, the groups make cocaine production more efficient. this is a perfect spot to highlight the different gangs that are trying to vie for control of cocaine. from this valley, downwards, is controlled by the clan del golfo. behind me, over there, is the eln. this side is the eln as well — different branch. the roads at the bottom, they are are controlled by another group called los caparrapos. after hiking for hours, i arrive at the coca field. how old are you? shouldn't you be in school — wouldn't you prefer to be in school?
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the peace process promised farmers they'd get help to grow legal crops, roads would be improved so they could access markets, but of the nearly 100,000 farmers who signed up, more than half are still waiting for any help. does it pay well? all this effort and you can get maybe $150, maybe $220 every two months? these farmers also start the process of turning innocuous leaves into one
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of the world's most addictive drugs. a shack is well hidden. this is where i'm told the next stage of the cocaine process happens, and i'm told it's disgusting. i can assure you, it certainly smells awful. first, they add limestone, then ammonia. it's hard to believe that people will snort all these poisons — not to mention the environmental destruction they cause. the chemicals that they are adding will run off down the hill, into the rivers that we have been walking through today.
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guys, we have to leave. 0k. there are people coming, there are people coming. some armed men have been spotted nearby. this emphasises how dangerous this entire region actually is. in the dead of night, the young men return and continue the production process. the incident that made us run turned out to be four members of the clan del golfo being arrested by the army. to when we left last night, this was covered and left, so all those leaves become this.
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it stinks. the next stage is add heat to remove the water and turn it into pure cocaine paste. then it's sold to the criminal gangs. they have crystallising labs, where they will add more strong chemicals, such as sulphuric acid, and turn this paste into white cocaine powder. so if you could produce more, you would produce more? there's lots of people have been killed in colombia because of cocaine. violence is spreading across colombia.
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a coca valley in south—west colombia has turned into one of the most dangerous regions of the country since the peace deal was signed. —— the cauca valley. this is home to the indigenous nasa people. there are nearly 200,000 of them and colombian law grants them the right to rule their ancestral land. they live out here, in these rural areas, in the hills and mountainsides — and this area used to be controlled by the farc. exercising their rights meant that, for decades, the nasa suffered under the farc. but since the peace deal, things have got even worse. as different gangs now compete for territory, the nasa are being attacked from all sides. more than 50 of them were killed last year. the un has described their situation as dire.
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wilmer invites me to attend a meeting of some of the victims of the violence but, before we set off, he insists we perform an ancient custom. this is a spiritual ritual that the indigenous tribe perform before they go to anywhere dangerous and, essentially, you have to walk in a certain way
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towards this circle. under this rock? record levels of cocaine production are only worthwhile when the drug can reach its foreign market. these roads are of strategic importance. so the reason this area matters to the gangs, the criminal gangs, is not because of what's grown here? throughout the journey, wilmer is nervous, intensely focusing on each vehicle we pass.
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it is an uneven fight and ijust wonder why you don't let them use the routes. the consequences of opposing the gangs soon become very obvious. so what happened here then? cristina bautista was a 30—year—old indigenous leader.
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but her bravery made her a target. just ten days before my arrival, she was killed alongside her four indigenous guards. we finally arrive at the village of tacueyo. this meeting has been organised by the peace commissioner, forced by a spate of killings to confront a community that feels abandoned by the government.
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applause just tell me about cristina. what sort of person was she? the peace deal was negotiated by the previous president amid opposition from many members of the current government. they have been in powerfor almost 18 months under the leadership of president ivan duque, who has been accused of failing to support the agreement. i grabbed the chance to put the concerns of the nasa people to the peace commissioner. so a lot of people in this area believe the recent violence is a direct consequence of this government failing to stand up for the peace deal. that is — they never said that.
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they tell that to me. the peace agreement was designed to be implemented in 12 years. we are beginning. we are in the transitional process. so this is not the reason, the reason is not the trafficking. i don't know if they told you... but... no, absolutely. is this an interview? this is being filmed. is that — are you ok with that? yeah, but i need to be prepared with that because you are asking me questions... 0k. um, right. because we were trying to get an interview with you in bogota next week. yeah. we will do that. but the interview never happened. and with that, off went the government officials by military helicopter, rather than riding the risky, rutted mountain road. the nasa people have their own blue uniformed security guards, of whom canas velasco was one. last february, he was part
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of an unarmed team that recovered these weapons and arrested eight farc dissidents. the incident made him a target and in october, the father of six was assassinated in front of his wife. wearing this uniform increasingly requires courage. this man survived the ambush that killed cristina bautista. given what you have seen, and the dangers involved, why do you continue to do this?
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the violence is driven by the vast fortunes to be made getting cocaine from the mountains to the markets. this northern part of colombia, by the caribbean coast, is hugely significant for growing bananas. but the huge number of containers needed to send the bananas overseas provides a perfect opportunity for the drug smugglers to send cocaine abroad as well. this is the port of zungo embarcadero, a key smuggling spot. the shallow waters mean containers are carried by tugs to a floating port three hours away, where large ships will take them on to europe. i'm off to meet a man who sends up to a ton of cocaine to europe each month.
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and he's not the only one. dozens of smugglers use the port, working for different groups, but all paying taxes, access charges, to the clan del golfo — currently the biggest organised crime group in colombia. how easy is it to transport cocaine out of colombia? for real?!
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in any one year, you will try to get 12 shipments to europe. how many of those shipments would you expect to reach europe? how much do you get paid for sending this through? so you make about $150,000 per shipment? and you've been doing this for six or seven years, so you have earned millions doing this.
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do you take cocaine? no. why? but others are not so squeamish. colombia's most famous export has never been in greater demand in the uk. before heading to columbia, i met someone who was interested in talking to the farmers. so earlier, i asked you, did you know what happened to the coca plant? and you said no, so i want you to have a look at this video. in nottingham, meet 25—year—old lewis bradwell. he started taking cocaine as a teenager. what was a regular habit is now an occasional hit, if friends are doing it.
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he's keen to know about the origins of the drug and readily agrees to chat to the farmers, so we arrange a 6,000—mile conversation about cocaine. so you never take cocaine yourselves? smart lads. you feel a buzz, a rush, uplifted. you have plenty of energy. you could stay awake for two or three days on end. yeah, afterwards, you feel terrible. you feel crap the next day.
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i started when i was probably about 19. it's put in front of us everywhere. i've seen it from a young age. you can't really get away from it. that was the main reason i wanted to stop doing it in the first place, because the cost was through the roof. i would be spending £200 easily — £200, £300 a week — which is your two—month wage, easily, every week, just on cocaine. it's been an eye—opener talking to you both. i am shocked how young you both are. and no—one, at 16 years old, should be dealing with such stresses of getting you 12 years in prison or getting killed by another rival gang.
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thanks, guys. some areas of colombia are facing a perfect storm. they feel the government has failed the peace process, allowing new murderous gangs to exploit the vacuum. they, in turn, are eyeing the vast fortunes to be made supplying increasing demand from wealthy foreigners for cocaine. both production and consumption of the drug are at record levels, leaving these communities feeling ignored and helpless.
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hello there. it was pretty unsettled over the weekend. we saw some wet and windy weather move through saturday night and then for sunday it was sunshine and showers and the wind was quite a feature again for part two of the weekend. that led to some impressive weather watcher pictures being sent in, like this one here on the south coast of england. now for the upcoming week, it's looking fairly unsettled. we will see some wet and windy weather again monday and tuesday and then it's sunshine and showers for the rest of the week. now, that said, monday will start off pretty fine with plenty of sunshine around, quite chilly, but the clouds will build up as an area of low pressure moves in to bring some wet and windy weather for northern ireland, then into western scotland, western england and wales into the afternoon.
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some eastern areas staying dry throughout the whole day, with a little bit of brightness. but then, during monday night, the wet and windy weather sweeps to all areas. a bit of transient snow over the scottish hills. it stays pretty windy and wet through the night, some pretty heavy rain accumulating for northern england and for wales. now, it'll be turning milder as well during monday night. into tuesday, i think the temperatures will be a feature. this warm aircoming up from the azores. lots of isobars on the charts, so again, it's going to be another windy day and there will be weather fronts around too, hence the cloud and the rain. so it starts off quite cloudy with outbreaks of rain for tuesday. we'll start to see a little bit of sunshine develop across england and wales but there'll be lots of showers packing into the north and the west of the country. winds a feature again, windier in fact on tuesday than monday with gales around some irish sea coasts. but, like i mentioned, with that very mild air and if we get some sunshine for england and wales, it's going to be exceptionally mild through the afternoon, with highs perhaps 16 or 17 degrees in one or two spots across the east. now, as we head out of tuesday
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into wednesday, it looks like wednesday and thursday in fact will be fairly similar days with brisk westerly winds and low pressure to the north of the uk, so will bring days of sunshine and showers. and for wednesday, it looks like we could see quite a bit of sunshine across england and wales, most of the showers again across northern and western areas. it'll be turning colder as well across the north, so we could see some winteriness over the hills of scotland and also for the north pennines. single figure values there but 10 to 1a degrees again in england and wales. into thursday, it's going to be another blustery day with showers, but it looks like the cooler air will reach even southern areas on thursday. so generally a cooler day thursday. we could see bands of showers moving through. one area could just clear the south coast throughout thursday morning and then it's sunshine and showers. again, most of the showers across the north and the west with a wintry flavour over the hills. temperatures, single figures for all. could just about scrape 10 or 11 across the south—east. now after thursday into friday, there's some uncertainty to the forecast because we could see this little feature, this area of low pressure, move in from the west. at the moment it's looking like friday will start chilly, dry with some sunshine but then this little low pressure could bring some
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showers or long spells of rain to northern ireland, wales and the midlands and northern england we could see some winteriness over the hills. temperature—wise 8 to maybe 10 or 11 degrees. but, like i mentioned, some uncertainty to that low pressure on friday. beyond friday, into the weekend, it looks like low pressure will bring some unsettled conditions both saturday and sunday but then, look at this, as we head on into the following week, we start to see high pressure ridging in at times from the south—west. so it does mean we could see some wet and windy weather for next weekend with outbreaks of rain pretty much anywhere. but into the following week, it looks like it could start to settle down, thanks to these ridges of high pressure which could bring increasing sunshine and it could feel very springlike and mild too. see you later.
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tonight at 10, italy sees a sharp rise in the number of deaths from the coronavirus, as a quarter of the population is put in partial lockdown. 366 people have now died, with the movements of 16 million residents in the north of the country heavily restricted. iam i am live near the restricted zone in northern italy, where the government has drastically escalated attem pts government has drastically escalated atte m pts to government has drastically escalated attempts to contain the outbreak. it's just been announced a third person has now died in the uk after contracting the virus, after the biggest one—day jump in confirmed cases. we'll have the very latest. also tonight... two weeks after severe flooding, borisjohnson visits worcestershire, to see the on—going clean—up operation.


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