Thanks to the persistent grassroots resistance by Indigenous communities in Colombia like the Nasa Tribe, Colombia’s Constitutional Court has paused the aerial fumigation of coca plants, ruling that the government failed to consult communities affected by the spraying of toxic chemicals onto their land. The Court ruled that the Duque administration must fully consult with potentially affected communities before the spraying can be resumed.
Aerial crop eradication is a threat to the environment and economic well-being of families and Indigenous farmers in Colombia, who receive little to no help from the state despite promises to invest in economic alternatives for farmers growing coca. There is no good reason to continue this catastrophic policy.
In June, Students for Sensible Drug Policy sent out a sign-on letter to members of the House Appropriations Committee to halt the practice of spraying glyphosate on behalf of the health, land, and economic stability of Colombia’s citizens. 50+ organizations joined our call, alerting congress that this practice must end.
In September, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to restrict the U.S. in funding aerial crop eradication of coca. This was a huge step forward, but our congress continues to approve millions of our tax dollars for a practice that is clearly not wanted by the people of Colombia.
While aerial crop eradication has been halted for now, we need to call on Congress and the Biden administration to end funding for the aerial eradication of psychoactive plants in Colombia before the Court allows this environmental and economic injustice to continue.