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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Colombia to spray jungle to destroy coca
    #4671848 - 09/17/05 12:29 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Colombia to spray jungle to destroy coca
September 17, 2005 - theage.com.au

The Colombian government plans to spray the country's national parks with herbicide to rid them of the raw material for cocaine despite protests from environmental groups.

Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt said spraying the parks would save them from destruction at the hands of drug smugglers, who the government says damage the environment with chemicals used to make cocaine, such as sulfuric acid.

"The government's duty is not to allow our nature reserves to be wiped out by these ecological criminals," Pretelt told reporters.

Environmentalists say spraying with the herbicide glyphosate, in a program funded by the US, will damage pristine jungle environments and harm indigenous peoples.

No date for spraying, to begin in parks, has been established.

Two-thirds of Colombia's 80,000 hectares of coca leaf - the raw material for cocaine - was planted in 13 of the country's 51 nature reserves at the end of 2004, according to satellite data from the UN.

While spraying has roughly halved the area planted with coca since 2000, more is being planted in nature reserves, where the plants have been safe from crop dusters so far. Coca planting in nature reserves has risen 30 per cent during the past year, Pretelt said.

Until now, the government has tried to placate environmental groups by limiting its eradication programs in nature reserves to manual uprooting of coca. But, while Pretelt said 17,000 hectares of coca has been manually removed this year, the government is impatient with progress and wants to spray.

One reason for this impatience could be that, while satellite data shows a big drop in coca area, another key indicator suggests the flow of cocaine to the US has not been significantly interrupted. The price of cocaine on US streets has hardly changed since the spraying program began in 2000.

Colombia is the world's largest producer of cocaine and has received more than $US3 billion ($A4 billion) in mainly military aid since 2000 from the US - the largest consumer of the drug - to fight the outlawed industry.

President Alvaro Uribe is currently in the US meeting officials to lobby for continued aid. He planned to tell the officials spraying has been a success.

Coca crops are protected by far-right paramilitaries and Marxist rebels - fierce foes in the country's four-decade-old guerrilla war, which claims thousands of lives a year. Both illegal armed groups rely on money from cocaine to buy weapons.

The government points to a study by the Organization of American States that concluded the chemicals used do not harm either humans or the environment. Glyphosate is commonly used by farmers around the world.

Still, the government will give the final order to spray only after studies showing that manual eradication is not practical in any one nature reserve, and after consultation with indigenous and other peoples in the area, Pretelt said.


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Colombia to spray jungle to destroy coca [Re: veggie]
    #4673458 - 09/17/05 11:18 AM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Interior Minister Sabas Pretelt said spraying the parks would save them from destruction at the hands of drug smugglers, who the government says damage the environment with chemicals used to make cocaine, such as sulfuric acid.

At least the drug lords don't spray the whole forest with poison (sulfuric acid), they wait until they pick the plants! The government however, is happy to just spray poison (herbacide) over ALL of their natural forests.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Invisiblemoog
Stranger

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1,296
Re: Colombia to spray jungle to destroy coca [Re: veggie]
    #4673917 - 09/17/05 01:54 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

So, they're going to kill a whole area of plant life, poison animals and possibly people, just to get rid of the great evil cocaine. How ignorant and selfish can these people get?


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Colombia to spray jungle to destroy coca [Re: moog]
    #4674133 - 09/17/05 03:12 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

You'd be very alarmed.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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