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Mon Nov 3, 2014, 02:28 PM

Ecuador’s children sick from Colombia crop fumigation: NGO

Ecuador’s children sick from Colombia crop fumigation: NGO
Nov 3, 2014 posted by Victoria McKenzie

Colombia may have violated its agreement with Ecuador to forgo aerial fumigation near its border, according to a report by the Ecuadorean Interagency Committee Against Fumigation, or CIF.

The NGO charged with monitoring environmental conditions along the Colombian border reported that it received several complaints of illness last week, including a community of schoolchildren in San Martin, who have complained of headaches.

In 2008, the Ecuadorian government filed a lawsuit against Colombia to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2008 after the herbicide drifted across the border onto Ecuadorian territory. Ecuador based their complaint on the grounds that “the spraying caused serious damage to people, crops, to animals and to the natural environment.”

In September 2013, the Colombian government acknowledged Ecuador’s complaints and the two sides reach a settlement of $15 million compensation for the damages.

US continues to support aerial fumigation

Colombia is estimated to supply around 90% of the cocaine that makes it to the United States. With the support from multi-billion dollar US aid packages for the war on drugs, Colombia has been practicing aerial crop fumigation for 20 years.

According to Daniel Mejia, the current president of the Colombian government’s special advisory commission on drug policy, the United States government continues to advocate aerial fumigation of coca fields despite clear human rights problems and proof that this eradication method costs exponentially more than attacking drug traffickers.


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