Side effects of the drug fight

2001/03/22 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia

Four authorities have recently denounced in Washington that the fight against drugs being carried out by the US government in Colombia is damaging the environment and the health of citizens.

Since the U.S. government approved a 1.3 billion grant last summer to destroy Colombian coquerías, the Colombian army has begun aerial spraying of large areas of southern Colombia. The herbicide used has glyphosate and its objective is coca plants, that is, raw material of cocaine. According to the Colombian army, of the 295 thousand acres planted each year, until February, they have destroyed 75 thousand.

However, the United States Department of State, although it claims that this herbicide is safe, has two substances among its components that are not used in your country. However, opponents claim that the herbicide not only acts on coca, but also removes the crops needed to survive, such as cassava and corn. It also eliminates wild plants and kills birds, mammals and aquatic living beings threatening the fragile Amazon balance.

Humans have also perceived the influence of herbicides and since the beginning of the campaign on December 22, due to vomiting and skin laws, complaints have increased by 60% in Putumayo del Amazonas in southern Colombia). In turn, skin, eye, respiratory and digestive conditions appear.

According to some researchers, although glyphosate damage is not as severe in the short term as other herbicides, side effects will be exposed in the ecosystem in the long term. The harmful effects of glyphosate on microorganisms, mammals, aquatic life and invertebrates have been tested. In this case the problem is even more serious, since the coquerías are located on land near the Amazon rivers that go to Ecuador and Brazil.

Colombian authorities call for the halting of the fumigation campaign and the implementation of social projects. In fact, the most vulnerable in the drug trafficking chain are farmers who grow coca because they are not offered another alternative. Therefore, subsidies should be aimed at farmers planting legal crops. Now, however, farmers are pushing the jungle to clean the forests and plant new coking, which is their only life.

Gai honi buruzko eduki gehiago

Elhuyarrek garatutako teknologia