Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Colombia to stop spraying Roundup on coca fields

May 9, 2015

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Colombian authorities must stop using the controversial herbicide glyphosate — also known by its brand name Roundup — to eradicate illicit coca plantations, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday.

“I am going to ask the government officials in the National Drug Council at their next meeting to suspend glyphosate spraying of illicit cultivations (of coca),” Santos said.

Launched in 1994, the spraying program was long treated as sacrosanct by Colombian officials, who gladly accepted billions of dollars in funding from Washington and succeeded in slashing the cocaine production that has fueled the country’s five-decade civil war.

But after the World Health Organization warned in March that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” Santos’s cabinet called into question whether to continue the air war on coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine.

“The recommendations and studies reviewed by the Ministry of Health show clearly that yes, this risk exists,” Santos said.

The president said the order did not mean Colombia would “lower its guard” in the fight against drug trafficking.

Colombia, which along with Peru is the world’s leading producer of cocaine, has used glyphosate for years to eradicate illicit coca. Drug officials now have until October 1 to come up with a new plan to tackle illicit coca growing.

The government has mainly used aerial spraying in the south of the country — a stronghold for the FARC leftist guerrilla group, which authorities accuse of financing itself with drug trafficking.

You may be interested

Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitors
Costa Rica
1115 views
Costa Rica
1115 views

Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitors

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020

Costa Rica will open its doors to the arrival of tourists from Mexico, after considering a drop in reported Covid-19…

Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]
Costa Rica
2278 views
Costa Rica
2278 views

Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020

Since September 1, Costa Rica has welcomed tourists from a growing number of U.S. states. According to Gustavo Segura, Costa…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25
Costa Rica
5540 views
Costa Rica
5540 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 25, 2020

Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 812, according to official data…