By Nicolás Rodríguez, EL ESPECTADOR, October 30, 2020

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Once again the Duque government is threatening to use glyphosate, and scientific studies still prove, for the umpteenth time, that the aerial aspersion of glyphosate will not solve the problem of the illegal crops.

The cost-effectiveness of the use of glyphosate is inferior to other available options. The balloon effect operates in the southern part of the country (when the plantings were reduced in Putumayo they went up in Nariño, etc.). That effect is part of the history of the Andean region (they went down in Perú and Bolivia and went up in Colombia, etc.)

Glyphosate is a potentially cancerous substance. At the minimum, there are complaints of respiratory diseases, as well as digestive and dermatological. It contaminates water sources, affects subsistence crops, and damages soil and ecosystems.

According to the indigenous communities, glyphosate puts porcupines, armadillos, and deer at risk . . . and still the government keeps on insisting. At some point we have to change the direction of the debate. The sufficiency of the information on the subject allows us to ask ourselves, what exactly is the government trying to do with its strategy, which is not only cruel but also useless.

In the times of Plan Colombia and the thriving DynCorp, the United States invested a good part of its economic assistance in its own private security companies, so that they took charge of large-scale aspersion of glyphosate. The anti-drug policy was as useless as always, but it displaced indescribable numbers of Colombians and produced anti-insurgent results. You win some, you lose some, they must have been thinking.

There are none of the guerrillas that they used to label “narcoterrorists” here anymore, in order to legitimize all of the ways they fought (including using paramilitaries), but the government is trying to go back to using an herbicide that is prohibited in any other country.

From the strategic point of view, the diagnosis is worrisome; facing what they conveniently call “drug trafficking”: and in spite of all of the peace agreements signed in Havana with the FARC-EP, the people who plant coca will be treated just like they were before.

It’s the declaration of a biological war.

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