Colombian aerial-spraying debate heats up


First came the U.S. State Department’s announcement last month that Colombia’s coca production fell 15% in 2002, the first decline in a decade for a nation that produces 90% of the world’s cocaine. Then came questions about the significance of that statistic—and new controversy over Colombia’s decision to use a stronger solution of the herbicide glyphosate in its aerial spraying of coca crops. The result has been an intensification of the long-running debate about the efficacy—and effects—of Colombia’s U.S.-backed campaign against coca. White House drug czar John Walters got the ball rolling last month when he told a U.S. congressional hearing that Colombian coca crops covered 144,000 hectares (356,000 acres) at the end of last year, down from 170,000 hectares... [Log in to read more]

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