First aerial spraying in park roils Colombia


After a guerrilla land mine last month killed six laborers working to manually uproot coca plants in Sierra de la Macarena National Park, Colombian and U.S. spray planes swept over the park, destroying 4,400 acres (1,800 has) of coca in five days and infuriating environmentalists and media commentators alike. The spraying operation, which used a potent herbicide mixture sold by Monsanto, made Colombia the first nation in the world to aerially spray drug crops in a national park. Critics say such spraying threatens the park system’s immense biodiversity. “The decision to fumigate a natural park is not only an attack on the irreplaceable inheritance of biodiversity,” said an Aug. 8 editorial in El Tiempo, the nation’s leading daily newspaper. “It carries to an extreme … an... [Log in to read more]

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