"In Colombia, A Palm Oil Boom With Roots in Conflict"

"MAPIRIPAN, Colombia — Long before the massacre, when Mapiripan was just a faraway little place not worth fighting for, Aida Gordilla and her family came to the wide-open grasslands outside town and fenced off a homestead. They called it Macondo, like the enchanted village in the Colombian novel popular at the time, 'One Hundred Years of Solitude.'

Today, a sign at the edge of town still reads 'Macondo Way,' but the road leads to a palm oil processing plant amid a vast orchard of a million trees, sown in tidy rows by a Spanish-Italian company, Poligrow. Gordilla’s family and the others are gone.

What drove them from Mapiripan and Macondo is only one dark little episode in the civil conflict that has scarred Colombia for half a century, leaving at least 220,000 dead and 5.7 million uprooted by four-way violence among leftist rebels, government ­forces, right-wing paramilitary groups and criminal gangs."

Nick Miroff reports for the Washington Post December 30, 2014.

Source: Wash Post, 12/31/2014