Tag Archives: fumigations

Waging War in Colombia’s National Parks

Cecilia walked around her small wooden house pointing to the banana trees and yucca plants that were killed by the aerial fumigation that had occurred eight days earlier. She described how the chemicals blanketed not only the coca crops she and her husband cultivate in order to survive, but also their food crops and two young children. As a result, the family is now struggling to survive in a part of Colombia that has been Cecilia’s home for her entire life: the Macarena National Park. Based on the results of the initial fumigations, it appears that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s decision to begin spraying coca crops in the country’s national parks will only intensify the conflict, escalate the humanitarian crisis and increase ecological damage in some of Colombia’s most pristine environments.

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Plan Colombia’s Killing Fields

A visit to the coca growing regions of southern Colombia clearly illustrates that more than coca is being eradicated by the U.S.-sponsored aerial fumigation. While the spraying has eradicated thousands of acres of coca over the past one and a half years, it has also destroyed the food crops and livelihood of impoverished Colombian farmers in the targeted regions. Recent attempts to more accurately direct the aerial attacks against illicit crops have also failed to protect food crops. And as both the fumigation campaign and the civil conflict intensify, there is evidence of collusion between the Colombian army’s U.S.-trained counternarcotics brigade and paramilitary death squads that are on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

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