November 22, 1994 |
Deep within this 2.2-million-acre reserve, smoke billowed up from the lap of a forested hill where Raul Romero was burning felled trees. He was clearing virgin forest to plant rice to feed his family. In a year or two, when the weak tropical soil no longer is good for grain, he will probably replace the rice with coca bushes. Coca leaves, the raw material of cocaine, are Romero's only cash crop.