The Interagency Committee Against Fumigation (CIF), an Ecuadorian organization that monitors the environmental situation on the border with Colombia, said yesterday it received a complaint by the presence of odors from chemicals used in aerial spraying drug executed on the Colombian side of the border.
Adolfo Maldonado, a member of the NGO, said that residents of San Martin, located on the Ecuadoran side of the San Miguel River, which serves as the international border, reported that several school children were affected by these odors.
According to these reports, the spraying could be produced at a distance of “three to four kilometers” of the border, but surely the effect of winds, traces of chemicals sprayed from airplanes came to Ecuador.
Maldonado recalled that last year the governments of Ecuador and Colombia signed an agreement that included an “exclusion zone” of spraying of 10 kilometers wide from the border that could be reduced to three miles the second year of the agreement.
This band could even be reduced to only two miles wide, after the second year of the agreement, only if a binational scientific commission checked and certified that the chemicals do not come to Ecuador.
Maldonado said that the incident may fall as a violation of the agreements, which urged national authorities to investigate the allegations.