How do you make a drug out of coca bushes and how does it travel around the world? Powder, snow, coke or just cocaine, in Guaviare they say: mercancía. This means merchandise and says much about this region in Colombia, which so naturally relies on coca like Kuwait on oil.
Somebody grabs the twigs, preferably a whole bunch, holds them tight at the stems and lets them slip through their hands like a rope, not too fast because it hurts, not too slow because they may miss too many leaves. This is how it all starts. Somebody takes a straw (those from McDonald's work well), cuts it in half, puts one end of the nicer half in the nose, points the other end at the line and snorts. This is how it will end. In between there are oceans and a dozen borders to cross and, depending on your point of view, a lot of money or a large problem. The term used is the same: drug traffic. (All images by Luca Zanetti)