Anti-Coca Fumigation Takes Toll in Border Area 

Anti-Coca Fumigation Takes Toll in Border Area 
Posted by FoM on July 05, 2001 at 11:46:03 PT
By Kintto Lucas 
Source: Common Dreams
Colombia's Environment minister, Juan Myer, maintains that aerial fumigation of coca plantations causes ''no real harm,'' though the environmental group Ecological Action stated Wednesday that the practice has meant health problems for more than 6,000 people living along the Ecuador-Colombia border. ''The effects of the fumigation are evident in the 36 symptoms of illness present in the border communities,'' reported Adolfo Maldonado, a Spanish doctor who participated in conducting a study sponsored by the Quito-based Ecological Action. 
Every one of the Ecuadorian residents living within five kilometers of the Colombian border presented symptoms of pesticide- related ailments, he said. At 10 km, the portion of the population affected fell to 89 percent. The people suffering the impact of the coca-eradication efforts on the Ecuadorian side of the border number nearly 2,000, while there are an estimated 4,000 on the Colombian side, according to the study. As part of Plan Colombia, an anti-drug trade and pro- development plan championed by Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, that country's military forces have been spraying coca plantations in the department of Putumayo, located on the Ecuadorian border and home to an estimated 60 percent of the country's coca fields. Ecological Action's report seeks to refute the statements made by Myer, who stated Tuesday that glyphosate, the herbicide used in the aerial spraying, causes no real problems for human health or the environment. According to the Colombian minister, just 15 percent of the glyphosate used in Colombia goes toward eradication of coca, the raw material for cocaine production. The rest, he said, is utilized in wiping out weeds in plantations of sugarcane and of other crops. The research conducted by the environmental group includes an analysis of the substances implemented in the fumigation of coca plantations and the effects of these chemicals on the health of the residents of Ecuador's Amazon province of Sucumbíos, on the Colombian border. The herbicide used contains RoundUp Ultra, manufactured by the agro-chemical transnational Monsanto, with the active ingredient glyphosate. Cosmo-Flux 411F is added to the Roundup Both are highly toxic, says the environmental organization. Lucía Gallardo, head of Ecological Action's biodiversity campaign, pointed out that Roundup Ultra contains 26 percent glyphosate, instead of the one percent recommended for use as an herbicide. ''That percentage is exceptionally dangerous to human health, but even worse is the use of Cosmo-Flux, which the United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified as 'extremely toxic','' Gallardo told IPS. Ecuador's Ministry of Environment, meanwhile, has formed a commission - with delegates from the ministries of Health, Defense and Foreign Relations - to assess the problems that have arisen along the country's northern border since Plan Colombia was launched last year. The commission will turn to the Pan-American Health Organization. for assistance in conducting its evaluation, the results of which will determine what course Ecuador's government will take with respect to the aerial fumigations, announced Environment minister, Lourdes Luque. But Luque stressed that no damages have been incurred in the Ecuadorian region bordering Colombia as a result of the spraying and she described Ecological Action as an ''extremist'' organization. For her part, Gallardo defended her group's research, saying ''it confirms what the residents and the border authorities had already reported.'' Environment minister Luque is ''turning a blind eye to an obvious reality,'' she added. ''It would be important for the minister to visit the areas affected and not just speak from her office, because her attitude and that of the Colombian minister (Myer) contradict the principles they claim to defend,'' said the activist. Myer and Luque made their statements during the Andean Conference of Environmental Authorities, held Monday and Tuesday in Quito, an event that also drew Venezuela's assistant minister of environment, Alejandro Hitcher, and the ambassadors of Peru and Bolivia in Ecuador. The Andean countries - Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela - together are home to 25 percent of the planet's biodiversity and share a common destiny in the natural heritage that they must protect, Luque said. Also entering the debate on coca fumigations is the Ecuadorian Congress. Its International Affairs Committee has asked the National Polytechnic University and the Central University to study the effects of the herbicide on human health and the environment in the area along the Colombian border. The Committee's chairman, Hugo Moreno, said it is imperative to determine whether harm is being caused in Ecuador by the chemicals used in the fumigation of coca plantations in the nearby areas of Colombia. ''If human ailments are verified, the national government will be called upon to provide the corresponding reparations to the farmers and peasants of that area,'' he said. Complete Title: Plan Colombia: Anti-Coca Fumigation Takes Toll in Border Area Newshawk: ddddSource: Common Dreams (ME)Author: Kintto Lucas Published: Thursday, July 5, 2001 Copyright: 1997-2001 Common DreamsContact: editor Website: Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News ICI Pulls Out of Cocaine War Drift: Monsanto and The Drug War in Colombia Articles - Glyphosate
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Comment #15 posted by Rambler on July 08, 2001 at 22:07:23 PT
Yea SWAMPIE,I hear Granny makes a mean Cappabarra pie,andJed & Jethro could go out and shoot us some Cornish Game Parrots.And we could make a great salad out of coca greens.We'll get em' all to come on over to Beverly Hills by havin' Mr Drysdalesend out the invatations tellin' em it's a Drug war chemical suppliersaward dinner.I'm sure Jethro would be happy to pick 'em up at theairport.I'll give miss Jane a call,an see iffin she can make out the invitesfor us!  y'all come back now,,,ya hear
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Comment #14 posted by SWAMPIE on July 08, 2001 at 21:45:04 PT
  Loved your menu,Do you think we could actually get the goods to host a political fundraiser,or something?I love to cook in my spare time,and wouldn't even flinch about using that menu!We could make it a Cajun-type affair,with LOTS of crawdads,and mussels,and corn,fresh from the"New South Amerika"!!!How about free-range chicken,too?YUMMY!!!!I womder how the tropical birds survive?Does anyone have a south amerikan connection?Maybe we could get Granny,Jed,Ellie-May,and Jethro to help us!LOL!           SWAMPIE
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Comment #13 posted by Lehder on July 07, 2001 at 11:06:16 PT
hey, rfk jr. - speak up!
you're an activist, eh? and your entire clan, reeking of booze and dope, has nothing to say about the drug war? you're just beach combers and has's a guy with money and influence. an activist?! hah! an activist who protests within narrow parameters acceptable to the establishment. a dud and a dupe, just as Chomsky describes.
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Comment #12 posted by dddd on July 07, 2001 at 10:17:10 PT
O.K....Got it
Thanx Lookinside,,,I was thinkin' that ol' man alzhiemer was knockin' at my door.....LoL...dddd
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Comment #11 posted by lookinside on July 07, 2001 at 10:01:37 PT:
lehders post #7..take a look at the link...posted's early, and i was only on my second cupof coffee...
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on July 07, 2001 at 09:54:07 PT
I musta missed something
Lookinside,,,,I looked thru the previous posts in this thread,,and I must admit,,,I cant figure out what you are referringto in #9??? island?,,,,,,,,could you please clarify......dddd
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Comment #9 posted by lookinside on July 07, 2001 at 09:28:22 PT:
civil disobedience...
that island sounds like a great place for aconcert..."woodstock by the sea"...anybody wanna see a halfa million jury trials?
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Comment #8 posted by dddd on July 07, 2001 at 05:09:27 PT
All the bases are covered
...Right on Lehder....Any and all reprocussions from PlanColombia have all been charted out,and planned for.I'll betchya alot of the pre-emptive damage control teams were schooled inthe Vietnam,Contra lessons of ass-covering.....The whole PlanColombia has been very carefully run.This is rather obvious whenone considers the huge blank spot in the media.It's as if nothing worthyof coverage is going on down there....Think about it...Thousands of acresare being saturated with crude weedkiller cocktails,sprayed by ineptpilots from high altitudes,to avoid getting shot down.All this isbeing done with NO oversight from anyone,,,except,perhaps a few "advisors"who are accountable only to their covert employers,who work for a company,that had a contract with another company,that is a division of yet anothercorporation,that was hired by a firm,working under contract fromthe US military branch of the DEA,and all the details are classifiedby law,under an obscure provision in the Alabama pig farming,andOregon spotted owl bill which was passed by the senate back in '91'aint pretty.....d.d.d.d
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Comment #7 posted by Lehder on July 07, 2001 at 05:01:37 PT
Another way to protect the environment:
Put Robert F. Kennedy in jail:
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Comment #6 posted by Lehder on July 07, 2001 at 04:41:29 PT
blame it on the weather
Here's your link again, dddd, to the DynCorp contract for Plan Gran Colombia paragraph H.23H.23. IDENTIFICATION OF EMPLOYEESThe employees of the Contractor shall at all times be identified as officials, employees or agents of the Contractor or subcontractors and shall not be considered as officials, employees, or agents of the host country government or the Government of the United States of America.There it is in black and white: The United States of America takes no responsibility and has no knowledge of anything whatsoever. 
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Comment #5 posted by Rambler on July 07, 2001 at 04:33:26 PT
Round 'em up,Move 'em Out,,,RAAWWHIIDE
Yea SWAMPIE,that Roundup is some nasty stuff,and if it's so harmless,then of course no one who produces it,or claims that it is safe will mind coming to a nice dinner that we will prepare specially,just for them.Here's the menu for these folks who say it's harmless.Let's start with some nice drinks!All the ice will be from genuine pure fresh Colombian well water,taken from a special well we have drilled in the middle of a sprayed field.Hor'devores will include the first successful growths of celerey,carrots,radishes,and such,which were grown in the defoliated areas,and of course were irrigated with that nice,fresh well water.This will be accompanied by dip made with dairy products from cows who have grazed only on the first wonderful regrowth from the area,and then the main meal will include a wide selection of vegetables grown in the same harmless places,and watered with the harmless water.  Now the host appears saying;"Who wants fish!"The guests will be able to choose from a wonderful selection of fresh fish from lakes and stream near the areas that were sprayed with the harmless Roundup.Pork and beef will be made availiable to those who dont like fish.Only the best meat from the harmlessly sprayed area will be offered.After all,these are important guests,and dont worry,we also invited their children."How bout a nice glass of fresh,harmless well water Timmy?,Or maybe a nice glass of milk!".It's harmless!!
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on July 07, 2001 at 02:41:03 PT
My 2 bucks worth
The worst part of all this,is that several years from now,when cowsare producing cottage cheese straight from the udder,and Colombianinfants are born with grotesque 'Creature from the Black Lagoon"apendages,and the sprayed areas start to become a strange blotchypatchwork of barren deserts, then the atrocity of what is occurringnow will be realized by the public. At this point,everyone will be looking for who is to blame.Of course,the U.S. will be questioned,but they will say that it was a Colombianthing,and that the US merely recommended the spraying.(In case youhavnt noticed,most articles about the spraying refer to Plan Colombia,and the spraying,as an operation of the Colombian government that ismerely funded by the US). Then we will see some classic use of the;"One Hand Washes the Other"ploy.Undoubtedly,the investigations wil focus on the Colombians to begin with,and then they will throw the hot potato toward Washington,and the drugwars' ghoulish cartel of thugs.From there it will be passed over to the senate,and probably will end up being blamed on slick Willie,(I kind of miss him).  So the buck will be passed about until it is unrecognisable.All this has already been planned for.When the shit hits the fan,no one will be there to answer,just like no one is there to explain what the hell is going on right now.Can anyone tell me right now,who is responsible for this? is it the DEA?  Is it the ondcp? surely we cant hold the wilting shrub responsible.He would just blame Clinton...There will probably be some idiots who will attempt to blame the American people for not speaking out against it.There will be no one to pin this massive crime against the earth,environment,and ecology.Fat congressmen,and corpulant senators will say they had no idea it was that bad,,all of the senators and congressman will use the old,"I'm shocked",ploy,as if they didnt know a thing.........The next phase of this "investigation",will of course be in the form of committees,and commissions.These committees will do what they always do,,,,they will spend several years pretending to look into the matter,and after the appropriate contributions and bribes have been made by the industries involved,and the publics focus has dimmed,or perhaps diverted by an Elian Gonzales type ploy,,,,,the committee will quietly conclude that it was no ones fault,,,and that most of the ecological damage was from coke labs,,with the exception of a few minor incidences of spray pilots who didnt have radios,,,couldnt read the maps,or had faulty equipment because of the underfunding of Plan Colombia.......Monsanto will simply say that their poisons were misused,,,,"They must not of followed the directions on the bottle",,,of course the military will shrug it off saying that they were merely "advisors"..........In the end,,,there will be ZERO accountability for the new deserts in Latin America.......dddd
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Comment #3 posted by SWAMPIE on July 05, 2001 at 19:56:13 PT
WOW! These idiots reallyt don't have a clue,do they?I have used Roundup extensively to control some very agressive weed/trees,and every time I feel sick for 2-3 days,even though I use a mask,and other protection.My wife even complains if she was in the yard when I sprayed it on the weeds!Could anyone in our government ever realize that once they kill off all of this old-growth vegetation,that it will never grow back to the same as it was before?They are really overdoing it this time,and I don't know what the answer is other than to go on a suicide mission,and then,one is not enough!To spray a few plants i one thing,but dumping thousands of gallons is another!IT IS WRONG!!!We really need a system of checks and balances to control any of these radical actions before they start!Maybe NEIL would volunteer to go to south America and help to defeat this tyranny that is happening!If I wasn't so old and crippled-up,I'd take the challenge!I don't think that 500 people would be enough,more like 50,000!!LOL!!Who would finance that??? PEACE! P.S.As you might have seen,I got my name registered,so I'm no COWARD!!!!!!!! LATER.
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Comment #2 posted by More or less Unsafer on July 05, 2001 at 14:51:05 PT
Round-up ready Coca!
Where is this Round-up resistant coca that is supposedly in the works
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on July 05, 2001 at 12:11:20 PT:
The Erin Brokavich solution
In the movie, Brokavich is confronting some very smug corporate lawyers, who snidely contend that there's nothing wrong with the town's water. Brokavich then offers them some water...and just before they drink it she informs one particularly smarmy female dog of a lawyer that it is indeed the town's water. They freeze, holding the glass at their lips, afraid to swallow.If Roundup is so bloody safe, lets see if these 'running dogs' of the DrugWar care for a glass of the stuff, straight up and no chaser? Or perhaps they'd be willing to just shower with it?
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