Organizations demand respect for the 2014 agreement and that Colombia report its actions to eradicate illegal crops and the limits to do so.
Colombia committed to the United States to halve its coca plantations until 2023. This goal is included in the so-called White Paper on Eradication, which considers, according to the defense minister of that country, Luis Carlos Villegas, actions such as the resumption of fumigations with glyphosate in areas where illicit crops are found, especially on the border with our country.
On June 22, Villegas presented in Tolima the advantages of drone sprays. The Minister stressed that this system will eradicate three hectares per day with less health and environmental risks. The use of glyphosate to combat illegal crops is not new.
Colombia faced three demands for fumigations between 2000 and 2007. One of them lost it in the US; the second is in process in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; while the third was raised by Ecuador before the Court of The Hague demanding reparation for the damage caused to the border population.
In 2014, an agreement was reached to withdraw that demand. In this agreement, Colombia acknowledged the damages and limits were placed where air fumigations could not be carried out. Harold Burbano, Inredh’s lawyer, recalled that Colombia promised to inform about the places, the dates and the chemical it will use.
“The fact that drone fumigations are focused minimizes, but will never eliminate the dangers of glyphosate,” Burbano emphasized.
Inredh and northern border organizations fight for a repair for the victims of the fumigations. In the last census, 40,000 affected families were detected, but only 3,250 were compensated with the money of the Colombian state.
The rest continues to demand not only economic compensation but productive plans and social development. That is why last February and March they met with Foreign Ministry officials to demand the execution of protection policies on the national border.
The news of the restart of the fumigations activated their concerns. The border organizations are expected to meet to issue their position. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not spoken. For the Assemblyman of Sucumbíos, Yofre Poma, Ecuador must prepare to fight the consequences of the spraying. He recalled that the repercussions were not only environmental but there were displacements and security conflicts, so he believes that the eyes of the country should be on the northern border again. (I)