EL TIEMPO, April 14, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Rodrigo Suárez insists that he made the decision along with an extensive legal and technical team.

By means of a video released this Wednesday, the Director of the National Environmental License Authority (Anla), Rodrigo Suárez, explained how he made the decision to support the plan of aerial fumigation with glyphosate in this country.

In the first place, he declared that they had decided to modify the environmental management plan for the eradication of illegal crops by aerial aspersion of glyphosate after a technical and legal process.

Suárez said that the plan for environmental management had been in effect since 2001, and that what had been suspended was the aerial aspersion activity.

“Once the National Police had received the application, Anla set up a technical and legal team of professionals specialized in hydrology, geology, chemistry, agronomy, ecology, biology, air quality, forest science, juridical science, risk management, and social economics, among others,” he said.

This team took on the task of making an analysis of soil and water, based on more than 12 years of monitoring, the product of control and follow-up that the Authority had carried out before the suspension of aerial aspersion activity.

He added that with the objective of discussing the environmental study presented by the Colombian National Police, in February and March of 2020, Anla put together and led technical committees in the areas of social economics, physical and biotic, with universities and the participation of researchers, Autonomous Regional Corporations, and research institutes, among others.

“In addition, we requested technical conceptions from the Autonomous Regional Corporations, National Parks, and the entities attached and connected with the environmental sector, and they made recommendations to the Authority,” Suárez said.

In his statement, he also pointed out that they had held an environmental public hearing series that included 23 informative meetings carried out in May, August, November, and December of 2020.

“An Anla technical team listened attentively to the citizens and to the local, regional, and national public authorities. The environmental public hearing was held in-person in Florencia (Caquetá Province) using all of the biosecurity protocols, on December 19 and 20, 2020, and there were 16 in-person locations for support in the municipalities of San José del Guaviare, La Macarena, Cumaribo, Morelia, Villagarzón, Tumaco, El Peñol, Guapi, Cáceres, San Jacinto del Cauca, Barrancabermeja, San José de Cúcuta, Puerto Santander, Nóvita, Sipí, and Buenaventura,” added Suárez.

Finally, he said that this modification to the plan does not renew aerial fumigation with glyphosate. “To do that, the national government will have to comply with the requisites established by the Constitutional Court, both in its decision and in its order.”

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