María Emilsen Angulo, mayor of one of Colombia's poorest and most violent municipalities, deals with many challenges, but coca is at the top of the list. “People here see it as their only way to make a living.” She is working to keep children from joining armed gangs and to create educational and economic opportunity in Tumaco. Health care has improved, despite the pandemic, and work is underway to make Tumaco a tourist destination -- cleaning up beaches, rebuilding the waterfront and developing hiking trails and tours. In April, despite country-wide anti-government protests, the mayor negotiated greater investment from the national government ,and Tumaco was peaceful.

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