In the two decades prior to President Alvaro Uribe's election in 2001, illicit crop production in Colombia grew from 3,500 to 144,000 hectares, representing an annual increase of 25.6%, with Colombia producing more than 70% of the world's cocaine. This trend was coupled with a worsening of the armed conflict, which according to Uribe was due to guerrillas' involvement in the drug trade. Drug-trafficking was deemed to constitute one of the main sources of funding for Colombia's guerrilla groups; according to government figures, between 1991 and 1996 $470 million was raised from the illegal sale of narcotics, representing 41% of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)'s income. To tackle the problem, the government's National Development Plan 2002–2006 proposed that 'the battle against terrorist groups, drug traffickers, and transnational organised crime will focus on their financial structures', that is to say on the illegal drugs industry.
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