Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

High Times
0

News

Colombia: New Push to Resume Glyphosate Spraying

new ruling by Colombia’s top court may open the way for a resumption of glyphosate spraying to wipe out coca crops, which was suspended in 2015 due to health concerns—in defiance of much pressure from Washington.

In the May 25 decision, a two-judge panel of the Constitutional Court did order that the suspension of the fumigation program be continued. But it also ordered the government to conduct a “prior consultation” with campesino communities to establish acceptable terms for spraying. 

Ironically, the case was brought by the municipality of Nóvita, in the Pacific coastal region of Chocó, back before the program had been suspended. The Afro-Colombian peasants of Nóvita charged that the spraying was poisoning their lands and waters and demanded it be halted.

Perversely, the ruling could result in it being resumed after more than a year. It may be doubtful that the government can actually come to terms with the Nóvita residents, but the ruling could establish a precedent for elsewhere in the country. 

Authorities in March announced a new plan for forced eradication of at least 50,000 hectares of coca across the country this year. Indicating the heavy hand Washington maintains in Colombian anti-drug efforts, the plan was jointly announced by Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas with U.S. assistant secretary of state for counter-narcotics William Brownfield and the U.S. ambassador in Bogotá, Kevin Whitaker.

This came just as the White House Drug Czar’s office finally confirmed figures that had been leaked to Colombia’s press weeks earlier, showing a massive increase in coca cultivation in the country. The record figure of 188,000 hectares under cultivation in 2016 is over twice that for 2013.

The new eradication plan is certain to be met with resistance.

Colombia has seen mounting peasant mobilizations against coca eradication in recent months, and this March saw the formation a new movement, the Mujeres Cocaleras del Sur de Colombia (Women Coca-Growers of the Colombian South). At their founding meeting in the jungle town of Puerto Asís, in the Putumayo region near the Ecuador border, the gathered women demanded that the government find alternatives to eradication, as demanded by terms of the new peace accords with the FARC rebels. The meeting was attended by cocalera leaders from the regions of Caquetá, Cauca, Meta and Nariño, as well as Putumayo.  

But the Colombian  military now claims that with the demobilizing of the FARC’s Southern Bloc in Putumayo, coca cultivation in the region has come under the control of “Bacrim” (criminal bands), the official euphemism for right-wing paramilitaries that have resisted demobilization.

And indeed these outlaw militias are fighting for control of coca zones across the country.

On May 10, new clashes were reported between the warring Bacrim factions Los Rastrojos and the Clan del Golfo, leaving at least five dead in the peasant community of San Faustino, in the Cúcuta municipality of the Norte de Santander region.  

The recent moves toward peace in Colombia are certainly a sign of hope.

But there is plenty of potential for backsliding into the drug war dystopia that has meant generations of pain, bloodshed and ecological destruction in the Andean nation.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Español

 420 es más que un día para fumar,  ya sea que tus razones para apoyar la marihuana sean médicas o recreacionales, podemos estar de...

Español

BOGOTÁ- Los desarrollos recientes en América Latina han atraído gran atención a los diferentes países que están ingresando en la industria del cannabis de...

Español

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre los cultivos de cáñamo y CBD? ¿Y qué es mejor, CBD aislado o de espectro completo? Cañamo para la...

Español

Una mujer colombiana está mostrando a la industria del cannabis cómo evolucionar a través de la responsabilidad social. “[No] podemos hablar sobre el espíritu...

Español

Si estás al día con el estado de la industria internacional del cannabis, probablemente hayas escuchado que Colombia se está posicionando como el próximo...

Grow

"To determine if Colombia's cannabis scene is actually all that, we had to see it to believe it."

Español

Un par de investigadores australianos se están preparando para llevar a cabo el primer estudio clínico del mundo para determinar si el cannabis medicinal...

Grow

Will Colombia be a global provider of cannabis seeds?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!