Legal Crops' Damage 

Legal Crops' Damage 
Posted by CN Staff on October 16, 2002 at 20:38:28 PT
By Rachel Van Dongen
Source: Washington Times
Cana Brava, Colombia — Surveying his charred landscape that once contained a promising harvest of "lulo," a pulpy, orangelike tropical fruit, Victoriano Mora admits that he used to grow coca like thousands of other farmers in Putumayo province.   But after the first U.S.-financed aerial sprayings destroyed his coca crops last winter, Mr. Mora said, he, like many other farmers in Putumayo, began eradicating his coca plants and cultivating legal crops such as lulo, plantain and yucca on his 12-acre farm deep in the Colombian Amazon.
But on Aug. 10, five U.S.-provided spray planes came anyway, turning his food crops into a scorched-earth nightmare. "There is nothing of coca," Mr. Mora said of his current farm. "I feel tricked."   Mr. Mora is one of 37,000 farmers who signed voluntary eradication pacts in Putumayo with the Colombian government in exchange for help growing legal crops and marketing them. But in recent interviews with dozens of farmers in that province, the heart of Colombia's coca growing region, they say that their legal crops are being sprayed in the most ambitious U.S.-driven effort to date.   "Here the majority of the people complied with the pact," Mr. Mora said of the voluntary eradication. "There are some that have tiny [coca] crops, but with one plant, they damage the rest of us."   However, the reality of the Putumayo situation is more complex. On a tour of his farm, Mr. Mora pointed to an intact coca plant, which he said had long since been abandoned. But sophisticated U.S. technology, which is able to distinguish coca plants from other crops by detecting the light their leaves reflect, is designed to target all coca to radically reduce the amount of drugs grown in the region by 2004.   Under the auspices of Plan Colombia, the United States has spent $584 million on drug-eradication efforts in southern Colombia. Most U.S. officials concede that the effort has yet to produce the intended results.   American officials blame the failure on the policies of former Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who halted spraying in Putumayo for what they term "political considerations." But with a nod from Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe Velez and an additional half-million dollars from the Bush administration, aerial crop destruction in Putumayo began again at the end of July, and U.S. officials believe that with a sustained effort it will succeed.   "By 2004 you're going to see cultivation has gone down significantly," said one U.S. official involved in the spraying efforts. He indicated that it will take one more year of intense spraying to eliminate most of the coca in Putumayo.   Coca farmers "can sustain their losses once. Some of them can sustain them twice, but none of them can sustain them three times," he said.   Mr. Uribe said, "The goal is to destroy 100 percent of the coca crop. We will not stop. We will spray and spray."   U.S. and Colombian authorities waited exactly a year from the date the last voluntary-eradication pact had been signed in July 2001 before embarking on their latest efforts. In an aggressive operation that will involve 16 U.S. aircraft by the end of the year, the goal is to destroy 300,000 acres of coca in 2002, up 30 percent from last year.   As for farmers like Mr. Mora, the American official said, "Nobody gets an amnesty."   Human rights ombudsman Eduardo Cifuentes is demanding a halt to the U.S. sprayings after 6,533 complaints from farmers.   "With one hand, they give us resources, and with the other they fumigate," he told El Tiempos newspaper, referring to the United States.   Mr. Cifuentes said there have been 318 complaints of spraying legal crops, affecting 6,076 families and 12,500 acres in Puerto Asis, Orito and the Valle del Guamez.   The governor of Putumayo, Ivan Gerardo Guerrero, also wants the aerial spraying stopped and says 5,000 acres have already been manually cleared of coca plants. According to statistics provided by Plan Colombia, more than 100,000 acres have been sprayed this year in middle and southern Putumayo province.   In Puerto Asis, a frontierlike town where the war against drugs is based, Edison Trujillo, the Colombian army's anti-narcotics chief for the region, said the farmers who say they have eradicated their coca crops are lying.   "They are not complying with the pacts," Mr. Trujillo said.   He believes that fumigation with a controversial substance called glysophate — the active chemical in the herbicides Roundup and Rodeo — which the State Department recently certified did not pose "unreasonable risks" to human health, is winning the war on drugs.   "It is working," Mr. Trujillo said in an interview at his office. "We are not even seizing a gram of coca."   He dismissed complaints by farmers that the spray-plane pilots commit errors, saying that the "strategy" of the farmers is to grow smaller plots of coca within larger fields of legal crops, hoping they are not detected by the spray planes.   Mr. Trujillo estimated that as many as 80 percent of the farmers who agreed to voluntarily stop growing coca were cheating.   Another measure of the U.S. strategy's success, according to Mr. Trujillo, is the city's declining economy. Rubber boots, worn by farmers working their fields, are in short supply, as is liquor in the bars and discotheques. Crime is up, including murders and robberies.   "There is going to come an economic crisis," Mr. Trujillo said. "There is no money because the coca is gone. There is nothing to buy because there is nothing to produce. The land is sick."   Nevertheless, Mr. Trujillo backs widespread aerial spraying of herbicides as a way to get out of the "labyrinth" of narco-trafficking, and free up his anti-narcotics forces to go after the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which occupies the countryside, and the anti-Marxist paramilitaries who dominate towns such as Puerto Asis.   "For me, it is a good strategy because the fumigation attacks the problem at the source," he said.   Despite disagreement on whether coca production rose or fell in the past year, there is no question that aerial spraying in Putumayo is having a devastating effect. Interspersed with green hillsides where cattle graze are seared patches of brown landscape with neither coca nor any legal crop.   Farmers in the area say it takes about eight days for green hillsides to turn brown after fumigation. They say that spraying herbicide has effects other than destroying the coca crops. It leaves cattle with little but contaminated grass to graze on and nothing of legal crops that provide food for people.   They say the chemicals used in the spray, glysophate and a surfactant used to help it stick to the coca leaves called Cosmo Flux-411, cause illnesses including skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems and fever.   A recent Environmental Protection Agency report found no conclusive evidence linking sickness in Putumayo to aerial spraying efforts.   In Buenos Aires, on the road from Puerto Asis to Orito, Jesus Eduardo Gomez was tending his yucca crops when the spray planes arrived at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 1.   He said he was sick with fever for a month after the mist enveloped his 110-acre farm — which is made up of mostly palmetto trees that would have yielded hearts of palm, a food crop.   "Here we don't have coca. They fumigated food. We don't know what we're going to do," Mr. Gomez said.   Like Mr. Mora, Mr. Gomez said he stopped a decade of coca-growing after the first fumigation, in 2001. But his farm had had five to seven acres in coca, which he said is dead and abandoned, and this may be the reason the spray planes still target him.   No matter what, Mr. Gomez said, he won't return to coca farming.   "If there is a way, we have to move forward," he said. "With this damage, we aren't going to return" to cultivating coca.   Mr. Gomez doesn't blame the government as much as he does his neighbors, who he said have not pulled up their coca to plant legal crops.   He said the spray from the fumigation planes then drifts down to his farm, leaving his 25 cattle to graze on dry grass and destroying his papaya, yucca and palmetto.   In Orito, the offices of Fundacion Huairasachac, a nongovernmental organization that is helping farmers manually eradicate coca, was filled recently with angry farmers complaining that their legal crops had been destroyed in the latest round of aerial spraying.   Manuel Meneces, the president of a farmers association in Las Americas that has promised to do away with coca, said his land has been fumigated three times, twice in 2001 and once this year.   He said he quit growing coca two years ago and now harvests only corn and plantain.   "The animals have died from the poison," he said. "The government of the United States has to put its hand over its heart. They are fumigating us like rats."   Like many other farmers, Mr. Meneces can think of no other reason the government has fumigated his land than to force him to leave it. "If the government of the United States doesn't help us find work in another way, the coca won't go away. The people have to survive."   Unlike most people, who are skeptical of whether they will ever be compensated, Mr. Mora, the lulo farmer, has filed a formal complaint with the Colombian government about the damage to his crops.   But the complaint was filed Aug. 20, and nobody has arrived to determine its veracity, citing the dangers from armed groups in the area.   Looking down at a mud road that is soon to be paved with the same American dollars that sprayed herbicide on his land, Mr. Mora said with irony that the road is the "reward that they are giving us for the fumigations."   But like other farmers, Mr. Mora said he doesn't plan to go back to his old way of life, even though his new one is in jeopardy.   "If you grow coca three times, three times it will be fumigated," he said.Newshawk: mayanSource: Washington Times (DC)Author: Rachel Van Dongen, Special To The Washington Times Published: October 15, 2002Copyright: 2002 News World Communications, Inc. Website: letters washingtontimes.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Misery - Economist UK War on Drugs in Colombia Ravages Farmers War Ravages Colombia
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Comment #8 posted by DANA on October 18, 2002 at 00:37:01 PT
..wrong Beatnik...
...I'm not the beatnik who wrote that .....It was by Don Van Vliet.......aka, Captain's another one...sun showers danced like              dye darker green shadows              light on green leaves              played bamboo golden              light organ pipes              wooden 'n' olden
              down finickey halls              shadows leaped like lizards scaling              flower eyes trailing random vines              tales that curl-ee-cued              beans that hung green light berries              buttrefly's grasp upside down              in pain              lovely in their rapture              golden dust              golden winged eels slither apart              bleeding life's light on to the ground              'n' quiver down golden light              corny little yellow horns blew petals 
              stem riddles              bees ride fat honey              legged drips              center pulp splinters              her flowered eye              a legend on a rock she scribbles              a dew drop pops              up in the 'sun dawn dance'                                      don van vliet 1970 
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Comment #7 posted by CongressmanSuet on October 17, 2002 at 20:01:40 PT
"Beatnick Poetry"
 I, for one read your poetry, and must say 1. Cheer up. and 2. You really should stick to lyrics. Hope this helps!!!
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Comment #6 posted by DdC on October 17, 2002 at 11:55:26 PT
WoD is Insane.You can't fight it without being it.
Battling paranoid wod warrior Mongers hallucinations isn't easy, actually its impossible. If they come, so what? If someone wants to make a plant "legal" aren't they as insane as those thinking they can make it "illegal" If your holding a plant and your foot is standing on the map here, you go to prison, here you die, here no problem mon. If your sick and standing here it doesn't matter we cage you. Here's ok, but not while moving and must be terminal or have pain. If the Czar is in good mood. But no more than 2 ounces or one half a plant. 2.1 and we cage you, its the law. If your healthy standing here we cage you minimum 10 years mandatory. 3 strikes and your out no balls in the game of Now rope is marijuana marijuana is rope. So more eradications means more users. More users means a bigger army to fight them, more of the map to conquer, more laws to fabricate. More rights to steal.More kids to treat and babies to die for oil. We really don't need. Hemp is good but cage the smokers, unless their sick. Even so. It doesn't matter, the stalk is what we want. Potheads cause Reefer Madness? That is insane, so follow follow follow follow follow... Mexicans dying near cotton fields, when the alternative hemp is organic, but the stigma of Hearst still stands, the insanity of Reefer Madness generation after generation.Anslinger to McCarthy to Nixon to Bennett to Bush to Klintoon now WoD's Wally and the DEAver Assa. Boo!Who are they fighting? Illegal drug users? Thats everyone not finishing a script. Giving an aspirin to a friend. Hippies? Hardly. They know how to use. And when where and why. Who are we trying to protect? The sick and dying? Do they believe the healthy should be caged? If hemps so hot where are the farmers? The Conservationist and the rest of the tree sitting public. Why would someone want to kill what provides fresh air and water? When a weed makes stronger lumber, paper, clothing and what ever a dead tree will bring.Operation rescue bombing American clinics aborting more as miscarriages from pesticide runoff and "treatment" Where's Jer&Pat and Billy. Klintoon maybe didn't inhale but he was damn sure in possession. Hypocrites overflowing. Lies part of the culture. Blasted from birth the babysitterbox spread out in every room. Blood and Sex to sell a product and news to sell the wars.Starving babies for generations, outlawed food and misappropriations standard s.o.p. Taxes wasted on ego's, jobs made up to fill the gaps in lost factories and illness. Minimum wage stays the same who's to complain with homeless down the street and jobless sit thousands of hours filling forms and taking shit from bureau mad because I said so's. Rules to leave out any doubt or chance of compassion slipping out. House the trinkets while we step over yesterdays proud vet sleeping in the doorway. Too lazy with the heroin he graduated to from Unk Scams opiates. The freaks keep stats and snitches handy, ratting out the pothead grannies. While the thugczar profits on ethnic cleansing. Congress sits and waits for orders from the C.E.O. of the C.I.A. Who we bomb to protect the crud we trade for kids blood. To make our waste and fossil fuels to spread through lungs and heat the planet. To "treat" with jobs and wars. The end is near the 700 club profits say, as the profits of yesterday and their minority of greedy weasels without guts. Nationalist fear spreading D.E.A.theism. The moneygod leads them and human flesh breeds their herds of slave labor. Till the clones come out of the closet. Always keeping the fear stoked and blazing. If production falls, create a new crime. Or new illness or side effect or pothole or gang or rave or illegal immigrant or hippie or hiphop or whatever ain't following their script. How nice it be our forefathers would say. To pen truth that reaches millions of puter sets must be a miracle, a gift of God. Yet few still respond to the hideous WoD. Early on the internet they would censor or herd the discussion off the main forum. Too many complaints, they didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to know their darling war hero died for what Ford replaced when they were children. They don't want to hear that their kids freaky limbs aren't Gods will, but mad science appetite stimulant outlawed and brought back to ward of cannabis. Protect the kids with sodomy in prison. Or ritalin the Pharmaceuticals prescribed. The same I.G.Farbins Adolph Hitler Foundation. No one can see through the white noise of insanity. Cept those who open to what comes naturally. Man can't create, only kill and manipulate. Ganja brings one plant, yet man try's to dissect it for his own greed. To maintain poisoning and murdering with chemicals and chain saws because of stigma, not even clever stigma. Silly Reefer Madness keeping Sierra and her friends away. Silly Reefer Madness no Dylan, Neil or Baez. Stupid fear of losing respect or funding, while in the gutter of the Ivory Tower escaping momentarily, till they're taken by the pencil neck geeks, advising. The church excuse of permitting people to suffer is out fear of kids being abused by drugs. Illegal drugs. While cannabis can stop a full blown asthma attack, kids will die with no pill or spray available. Neglected latchkeys from overworked parents. Afraid to stop cause the leaders all say we must work. To buy more trinkets made of plastic, delivered by fossil fueled cargo transporters and barges. Then treat the Neurological epidemic with by-products of the sludge. Keep up with the jonzing. Buy Buy Myth American lie. Drove my Chevy to the Levi cause the biomass was shelved. Made of stripped mined ore not hemp fibersteel shelved at the same time. Bio diesold and shelved. 12 pounds of chemical grain emptying reservoirs of fresh water to feed cows that are exported leaving waste to raise nitrates to sell or "treat". To kill the unborn and more "treatment" to buy Bushits Pharmaids, where is Willy? Where is Kurt Vonnegut or Carlos or Ram Dass? Isn't this a priority or does it solve the problem tooooo quickly. Jeopardizing protection rackets, lesser evils than the corporate thieves and tax extortionist. Religion bans the Sacrament that either Moses and Jesus inhaled or they just stopped breathing. Still the bhang and Hookahs reign throughout the land but no mention from Pat&Jer or Billy? Selling pesticides to farmers who got wise and not bankrupt or growing hemp. As food fuel or fiber or pest and herb deterrent. Soil aerator bringing worms that don't raise nitrates killing babies. Too simple. Remove the cannabis laws...Peace, Love and Liberty or the Insane Mongers!...DdCGood Terrorists, Bad Terrorists: How Washington Decides Who's Who Colombia Deception. Paramilitary squads are tearing apart Columbian families and culture as they defend U.S. oil interests. Monsanto produced defoliant is sickening thousands. Bush is asking for an increase in military aid to Columbia, up from 1.3 billion dollars this year. Continued... Hemp Car v Crude Oil Wars Plan Kentucky: How would we like it? Just Causes? for a Rainy Day$anto'$ WoD on Ditchweed Sucks Network of the Americas - Colombia Report Mobilization
Colombia Support Damn Birds Stoppers Sells 30 Copters for War on Drugs Helisculptures
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Comment #5 posted by Delariand on October 17, 2002 at 11:26:03 PT
$584 million?! Think of the children!
Half a billion dollars spent to go on little joyrides in planes over columbia, and everyone back here in the states has no trouble finding their blow. There sure are a lot of schoolkids who could have had new books with that money.Think of the children! The tides are turning, it's time we start using their own attacks back against them.
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Comment #4 posted by malleus on October 17, 2002 at 11:04:52 PT
All part of the plan
Step One: Use the War on Drugs to impoverish the campesinos and force many off their lands through spraying, intimidation, violence and murder courtesy of the paras, who work for the big landowners who want all the land.Step Two: destroy the target nation's largely agrarian economic infrastructure, which will incidentally ensure that large numbers of people go hungry. Which in turn produces very unstable living conditions, which in turn lead to massive civil unrest. This in turn destroys the native agricultural capability, and leads to the necessity to import food from - where else? - Archer Daniel Midlands of the good ol' US of A.Step Three: Enter the IMF bankers and their sweetheart deals for local government officials to turn over control of what's left of local infrastructures to them in exchange for Swiss bank accounts and a villa on Lac Luzerne. Water, power, and sewage. Things you literally cannot live without. In addition, crushing IMF monetary policies cause even greater social unrest as things get worse. Important decisions concerning the welfare of the nation are no longer settled by the citizens themselves but by super wealthy bankers thousands of miles and millions of light years socially from the very people whose lives they control. With a single word from them, a famine or civil war could result. and often does.Result: Millions starve. Disease spreads. National governments, which could prove testy should they oppose the stripping of their natural resources in exchange for below market value prices tendered by the corporations seeking to 'develop' them, are instead reduced to begging for help from the IMF and it's wealthy members. For proof, look at what's happening in Argentina. That's the future of any nation fool enough to dicker with Uncle Sam and his plutocratic managers. One more formerly sovereign nation has become a province in the Global Plantation envisioned by the Club of Rome people back in the 1970's and by related organizations ever since. One more possible 'problem' nipped in the bud. And the beat goes on.
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Comment #3 posted by Duzt on October 17, 2002 at 07:52:57 PT
heart of palm
When I lived in Brazil, heart of palm was extremely popular and expensive. It takes between 10 and 20 years to grow before it can be made. That must have been devastating. And why the hell are we spraying in Argentina anyway? Brazil can't stand us, the people there would love to see our government suffer (I'm with them). This government plans on world domination, it's very appherent now. Brazil produces the most Orange crops, coffee crops, and sugar are second in soy production and beef production; just to name a few. Lula is goiing to become President there and he is very extreme in his views, especially towards trade and other governments interfering. Brazil is also larger than the continental U.S. It's time for the rest of the world to put sanctions on us. I would happily suffer to if it meant getting the dictators and fascists out of our government. We need to throw the money changers out of the temple again.
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Comment #2 posted by Dark Star on October 17, 2002 at 05:33:15 PT
Intervention Needed
"U.S. officials believe that with a sustained effort it will succeed.'Yeah, when pigs fly."We will not stop. We will spray and spray."This is a crime against nature. If the UN has any credibility in the world, they should be intervening in this situation. The US and their new puppet will never eliminate cocaine, but they will devastate the Amazonian ecosystem, impoverish the population, and make the Yanqui dog the enemy (as earned) for generations to come.
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Comment #1 posted by DANA on October 16, 2002 at 23:27:41 PT
...Where are they????
....Where are all the 'Save the rainforest and whales,,end the hunger,,save the children and the embroyos pro-life ,humanitarian' type people?  Where's Sting,or Bono????...I guess maybe we might have to wait for pictures of a generation of mutated babies before anyone notices....This spraying is grotesquely evil!......but,,I guess that in the scope of the big picture of todays world,,it's been obscured by the terror war charade.....If you ask me,,the lives of peasant farmers and their children,are EQUALLY significant to the lives of ANYONE!.....Where's the freekin' "Amber alert",for poisoned babies in Colombia?.....This spraying is just another example of US sponsored terrorism!..Official terrorism!....OIL Terrorism!!!!!....yup,,that's my new term; "Oil Terrorism"!.. It's the most terrifying type of terrorism.!!!!.... It's "the mother of all terrorism"!OK.for something on a completly different lighter note,here's some off topic beatnik poetry for your perusal....:::the old fart's heart beat like a drumhis mouth was dry 'n there was an angry whelkthrobbing from where he'd been poked earlier that daywhile posing as a dead fishone fly had crawled through the nostrils in his intricatetrout replica mask and had somehow got fouled up in hisintricate air bulb atomizer breathing device 'n it whistled'n stank 'n tickled with every breathone leg had been torn off where the tube went in his mouthhe could feel it hanging from his lip'n the thought of it almost made him vomithe was numb from the neck downand was too exhausted at this point t' dig himself out of the sandhis whole scheme had been foiledby the fog that gathered on the insideof the detailed view holesthat even upon close inspectionappeared to be eyes 
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