AGENCIA ANADOLU,[1] April 14, 2021

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective says that the return to aspersions with glyphosate violates “the Constitution and the Final Peace Agreement”.

The José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (Cajar) of Colombia on this Wednesday April 14, presented a booklet “Ten Realities About the Drug Trafficking Megaproject”. It states that the antidrug policy being pushed by the Iván Duque administration “is condemned to failure”, and violates the Peace Agreements signed between the government and the demobilized FARC guerrillas.

The national government’s rhetoric has concentrated principally on three aspects: the return of aspersions with glyphosate, forced eradication on the ground, and the prohibitionist policy and persecution of drug consumers. According to national and international experience in the war on drugs, using available data, none of those three efforts has been successful,” reports the document.

According to the research, in regions or areas within the country where the government is not present, in spite of the aspersions that have been carried out, coca plantings return rapidly, and that defeats success in achieving the objectives of eradication.

In its view, “forced eradication is unsustainable in the long run. It may be efficient in the short run to present supposedly successful results, but in reality it produces the so-called “bubble effect”. That is, the transfer of the plantings for illegal use to other areas.  The consequences are foreseeable, because the forced eradication is not accompanied, with participation of all parties, by alternative development plans and by accompaniment of the communities,” states Cajar.

Besides, the booklet points out that the Peace Agreement, signed by the Colombian government (represented by then-President Juan Manuel Santos) and the former FARC guerrillas, prioritizes voluntary substitution of illegal crops above forced eradication. The policy of the current administration is “dismantling point 4 of the Agreements”.

The Collective argues that “in the Final Peace Agreement, the definitive solution to the problem of the illegal plantings requires a new program which, as part of the structural transformation of the countryside, (the Integrated Rural Reform, RRI, is tasked with doing this), will contribute to the conditions of well-being and good living for the populations affected by those plantings.”

In the booklet, Cajar explains that the foregoing is not contrary to the Constitution, since “according to the transition order that was added to the Constitution, the agencies and authorities of the government are obliged to comply in good faith with what is established in the Final Agreement. As a result, the actions of all of the agencies and authorities of the government, their regulatory development, their interpretation and application, must maintain coherence and integrity with what has been agreed.”

On Monday, April 12, Duque signed a Decree that regulates the aspersion of glyphosate to destroy the illegal plantings in this country. However, its activation is not immediate, since the National Drug Council (CNE) must still evaluate the compliance with the requisites demanded by the high court before the practice can begin.

According to the administration, aerial fumigation with glyphosate will diminish the plantings of coca, the production of cocaine, the high number of massacres and murders of social leaders in this country, and leave the illegal armed groups without financing.

Nevertheless, dozens of campesino, ethnic, environmental, and labor union groups reject that decision.

[1] AGENCIA ANADOLU is a state-run news agency headquartered in Ankara, Turkey.

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