586k frontera (sin) norte/586k north (less) border

The never-ending, US backed, ‘War on Drugs’ continues to wreak havoc in the agricultural regions of Colombia. Juan Martin Cueva’s poised and beautiful film documents the plight of those forced to flee across the border into Northern Ecuador, to seek refuge from the now endemic paramilitary violence, and the continual aerial spraying, which, though aimed at destroying illegal coca plantations, kills food crops, too, and causes ill-health.

Through the eloquent testimony of native Ecuadorians and refugees alike, a vivid picture is painted of the social and economic turmoil that has resulted from this influx of the dispossessed into a region already prey to chronic underinvestment and widespread deprivation. Cueva turns the spotlight on one refugee crisis that, for decades, the world’s media have chosen to ignore.

Amidst all the fear and tension, however, there is some hope, and the desire for a return to peace and coexistence, between peoples from both sides of the border who, for generations past, have lived simply by tending the land.

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