Colombian Indians Win Drug Battle 

  Colombian Indians Win Drug Battle 

Posted by FoM on July 29, 2001 at 09:26:47 PT
By Jeremy McDermott in Bogota 
Source: Scotland On Sunday 

A Colombian court has ordered the government to stop eradicating crops used to make cocaine and heroin using herbicides until it can be proved that they do not pose a threat to humans. The spraying of coca and poppy plantations is a key part of the US-funded Plan Colombia which is spending billions of dollars supporting the Colombian security forces in their fight against drugs and the armed militias who run large parts of the country. 
The ruling by a Bogota district court came in response to a petition by an organisation representing Colombia’s native Indian communities who claim the crop spraying is ruining their lives. President Andres Pastrana said his advisors were studying the ruling. After the court hearing, Pastrana reiterated his government’s official policy of spraying herbicides only against large-scale drug plantations and of inviting poor peasant farmers to join voluntary manual eradication programmes. But Indian groups, small farmers and environmentalists say that poor farmers’ drug crops are also being wiped out by planes dumping herbicides and that the spraying is poisoning rivers and making people sick. The court decision comes amid growing opposition in Colombia to herbicide use against drug crops and as the US Congress considers additional drug fighting aid for the country. Last year the US approved a $1.3bn package. The aid programme provides crop-dusting aircraft and escort helicopters that carry out spraying missions using glyphosate, the main ingredient in a commonly used fertiliser. The US Embassy is sponsoring a toxicological study it hopes will back official claims that glyphosate is harmless to humans and the environment. A court official emphasised that Friday’s ruling was preliminary. He said a more definitive verdict would be issued within 10 days. The officials said the court would clarify by Monday whether the suspension applied to spraying in the entire country or only on Indian reservations. His ruling asked the government to respond within three days to a series of questions about the legal framework, precision and the possible health and environmental damage caused by the fumigation program against coca and poppy plantations. Ricardo Vargas, the author of a recent book criticising aerial fumigation, said he expected Friday’s ruling to be challenged in higher courts. But he was hopeful it would generate "a deep discussion about the laws the government often cites to justify the fumigation operations and the use of certain chemicals". Vargas said a state court in Cundinamarca state was also reviewing a petition to suspend fumigation with glyphosate. Colombia is the world’s leading producer of cocaine and a growing exporter of heroin to the United States and Europe. Even as the fumigation programme hit judicial obstacles, the first three of 16 Blackhawk helicopters being provided by Washington arrived in Colombia on Friday. The remainder of the armed, troop-carrying helicopters are scheduled to be delivered by the end of the year. The Blackhawks will be piloted by Colombia’s security forces and carry troops to back up crop spraying to eliminate coca - the raw material for cocaine - in areas prowled by leftist guerrillas or right-wing paramilitary militias. Plan Colombia also includes billions of dollars of aid and incentives to encourage small farmers to eradicate coca manually and switch to legal crops such as palm and coffee. US critics of Plan Colombia say they fear "mission creep" and think the superpower’s military training and other aid for Colombia could end up sucking it into a messy 37-year-old war that has claimed 40,000 lives in the past decade alone. Leftist guerrillas - including the 17,000-member Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC - have described the anti-cocaine plan as a front for US imperialism. The FARC has said it will target US military personnel. It admits to ‘taxing’ cocaine producers but denies accusations by Colombia’s security forces that it traffics in the drug. The FARC’s far-right paramilitary foes, who tend to avoid clashes with the army and police, with whom they are accused of maintaining links, also draw money from drugs. US Green Berets have trained Colombian anti-drug troops, and the State Department has hired an American firm, DynCorp, to pilot crop-spraying planes. The US has already provided 33 UH-1N helicopters to support Plan Colombia. The planned delivery of 25 Huey IIs in 2002 will complete a helicopter support package approved last year. News Brief From The Associated Press Colombian Drug Sprayings To ContinueSource: Associated PressPublished: July 28, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Associated PressDrug fumigations in Colombia will continue despite a court-ordered suspension while the government responds to legal questions, police said Saturday. Gen. Gustavo Socha, chief of the anti-narcotics police, said planes would continue spraying plants used to make cocaine and heroin. A Colombian court made a preliminary ruling Friday saying fumigations with the chemical glysphosate be temporarily stopped. The court is expected to give a final verdict within 10 days after receiving responses from the government to its queries. "At this moment, the fumigations will have to continue," said Socha. "Once there is a final ruling, we will respect the decision of the court." The ruling by the Bogota district court came in response to a petition by an organization representing Colombia's native Indian communities, who say the fumigations are poisoning rivers and targeting poor farmers. Washington is bankrolling the offensive against coca and poppy fields in Colombia through a $1.3 billion regional antidrug aid package. The U.S. Congress is considering additional drug aid for Colombia -- the cocaine capital of the world and a major supplier of heroin. Source: Scotland On Sunday (UK)Author: Jeremy McDermott in BogotaPublished: Sunday, 29th July 2001Copyright: 2001 The Scotsman Publications Ltd.Contact: skirkpatrick Website: Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News Bogota Judge Suspends Fumigation of Coca Fields Court Orders Eradication Suspended Articles - Glyphosate 

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Comment #17 posted by kaptinemo on July 30, 2001 at 05:59:35 PT:

Some more articles on the 'fumigation'
(BTW, you fumigate bugs, not people. Or maybe the US Governmemnt classifies the campesinos as subhuman, and therefore they feel safe in spraying them?)Anti-drugs plan threatens Colombian peasants Falls from the Sky anti-drug strategy accused of killing Colombian food crops Narcotics official defends quality of satellite intelligence, says spraying isn't random risks, U.S.-backed crop-dusters on a mission. Colombian officials hope the raids cut drug crops in half over six years. one's very imporatnt: a view from the Colombians that we don't hear in our 'massaged' news media."Plan Colombia ... Plan of Death" recon photos of regions sprayed with this 'safe' herbicide: take a good look at what our taxpayer dollars are doing down there; it'as sickening, in more ways than one. look at what it does to food crops! Drift: Monsanto and the Drug War in Colombia Fumigation in Colombia and the Third World the linx to more pix where kids are present during the spraying; what the flippin' Hell do we think we are doing down there?) 
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Comment #16 posted by kaptinemo on July 30, 2001 at 05:17:35 PT:

I don't have the specific article...yet
But a mention of this 'test program' was made in an earlier posting to CNews:
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 29, 2001 at 19:31:09 PT

Hi Rainbow
I read your question and did a search but didn't find anything. I seem to remember an article that was mentioned. If I find it I'll sure post it. 
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Comment #14 posted by Rainbow on July 29, 2001 at 19:17:50 PT

Human Testing
I saw a news article that indicated the US embassy is going to spray 100 or a 1000 peasants with roundup. This is the sort of thing the USA has done before - remember the acid experiments, remember the radiation experiments? And we condem the SS. Seems the SS were quite influential with our present US government.What is wrong with this picture?Rainbow
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 29, 2001 at 17:04:07 PT

Here it is!
Thank You freedomfighter. Here is a link to more pictures and the picture of the baby.The Baby keep expanding this page with information that I think is important. I update it these days a couple times a week.Colombia Drug War News 
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Comment #11 posted by freedom fighter on July 29, 2001 at 16:49:10 PT

FoM, You are the best!.
I am sure that Lookinside and I agree with this point..FoM, some time ago you post a pic of a baby with rashes all over...I need it now so I can send it to my friend down in east.. Can you help me with this?Love and Peace to your family..\/ff
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 29, 2001 at 16:33:43 PT

I Think We Are Winning
I think people are waking up. It seems like it's taking forever but then when I think that way I looked at it this way. What has been accomplished by Drug Policy Reform Organizations in the last few years? I had a very hard time finding any good articles when Cannabis News started in December of 98 and now the quality articles are great. I've never seen more energy both pro and con since I have been on line and getting interested in news about the drug war in 97. I see unity starting to occur and that puts the picture together the right way and then we all gain strength and the army we march in grows more confident yet angrier but that's how we will win and we will win. I really believe that in my heart or I would'nt say it. We will win everyone so don't lose faith. Enough preaching! LOL!PS: I sure appreciate you all!
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Comment #9 posted by freedom fighter on July 29, 2001 at 16:19:26 PT

I agree!
And it is up to us to stop this insanity...??Basically, I am pissed that 100 human beings are being hacked with chainsaw daily because of this so-called drug war.. Can we stop this next vietnam war in its track?Will the sheep wake up? Love and peace ff
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Comment #8 posted by lookinside on July 29, 2001 at 16:04:11 PT:

i was being a bit sarcastic, cynical, tongue in cheek...ifthe drug cartels don't have the money to purchase d*** nearANYTHING they want then they are using way too much of theirown product...i can only assume that the effort to eradicate the coca andpoppy fields is so ineffective that the "drug lords" don'tcare about the crop losses...the cost of eliminating thehelicopters would outweigh the benefits...the andes is a BIGplace...another thing is the cartels' major partner, the CIA wouldhave a hard time explaining the loss of assets in the whitehouse...(if the losses got in the news, which i doubt)the"shrub" might feel compelled to move troops into columbia to"punish" the "growers"...(the major players would be takingit easy in bogota, out of harm's way)make no mistake, the U.S. military is fully capable ofeliminating coca at it's source...the "scorched earth"method is very would leave nothing alive,either plant or animal, within the target zone...thepolitical repercussions would end the war on drugs, as wellas those who support it...what we are seeing IS the beginnings of another viet nam...apolitically choreographed "war" meant to make alot of the"right" people rich...
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Comment #7 posted by freedom fighter on July 29, 2001 at 15:29:33 PT

If I miss your drift
forgive me..Do you mean to say we need non-profit org. to teach us the americans how to use hand-held missles?It is allright my friend..I'm bit inflamed after watching the Patriot...It is a good movie..Peace be with your family..\/ff
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 29, 2001 at 15:11:45 PT

A Big Series
Hi Everyone, This is a very large series somewhat related to the drug war. I could post all the articles but you would miss the graphics if I did. After you click on this link it shows you how many parts are in the series. I bookmarked it to read. I might put it on my Colombia Drug War page. Thought some of you might want to take a look too.A Pilot's Fall, Part I Three years ago, Chief Warrant Officer David Guido was an experienced Army helicopter pilot. He had a promising career. He loved his wife. But one day, he risked both by sneaking his wife aboard a Black Hawk helicopter test flight. By Noelle Phillips Savannah Morning News
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Comment #5 posted by lookinside on July 29, 2001 at 15:05:16 PT:

i think you missed my drift...
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Comment #4 posted by freedom fighter on July 29, 2001 at 14:59:28 PT

I do respectfully disagree with your statement..It is us who need to learn how to fight back..Sometime with blood..I highly suggest folks to watch a movie called The Patriot played by Mel Gibson..Mel Gibson was a father of seven children. At the beginning of the movie, he would not agree to make war with English. In his own word, he was a father of seven children with no wife to take care of his children. He thought that the folks should try to resolve the difference with England without bloodshed. Soon, he learned his lesson. His second son was murdered by the redcoat.By watching the movie, I am truly ashamed to be an American.. It will inflame any true blooded patriot! Too many human beings had died for our so called freedom and justice.It is us who need to learn how to blow the congresscritters and sinators out of their office. Sometime it is not a tryant sitting 3000 miles away but rather the 3000 tryants right in front of our noses.. It will not be solved by some peaseants down in Colombia.Our greatest enemy is ourselves!Are you willing to die for your freedom, justice and liberty?Personally, I am ready to fight with sticks and stones.. I am ready to start spraying Round-up weed killer on some sinators's children in name of liberty and justice and freedom.I do not know about you...
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Comment #3 posted by lookinside on July 29, 2001 at 13:53:29 PT:

hmmm...we need a new non profit foundation...
one whose sole aim is to teach the indigenas how to use handheld surface to air missiles...and supply same in amplequantities to eliminate unwelcome aerialspraying...hmmm...those things might be useful in hawaii andnorthern california too...
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on July 29, 2001 at 12:41:45 PT

I've heard it all now.
"The U.S. embassy is sponsoring a toxicological study it hopes will back official claims that glyphosphate is harmless to humans and the environment."But it kills plants,and aren't plants part of the environment?How can they possibly find out the long-term effects in the short-term? Also,it is not just glyphosphate they are spraying. It is mixed with another chemical agent to help it stick to plants. Nobody has studied this combination yet.If the U.S. Embassy is sponsoring the study there is certainly no chance for bias,right? ....YEAH RIGHT!In other words, COLUMBIAN PEASANTS = GUINEA PIGS!!!
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on July 29, 2001 at 12:22:19 PT:

The only time the Indians (or more properly, indigenas) of Colombia will win is when the Yanqui imperialists run from the area with their tails between their legs. May that day soon come.
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