The Twisted Legacy of Colombia's Aerial Cocaine Crop Spraying Programme
After 30 years of dubious results and loud protests, the flagship of the supply-side drug war in North America has finally been brought to ground.2 Jun 2015
Last month, acting on the recommendations of President Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's National Council on Dangerous Drugs (CNE) voted 7-1 to indefinitely suspend the aerial fumigation of coca, the plant precursor to crystal cocaine.
Coca farmers, like this man in the jungle hamlet of Alto Amarradero in Colombia's southern Putumayo department, are peasants, not the narco-mafiosos US policymakers have attempted to paint them as. All photos by Miguel Winograd
Colombia has been the only drug-producing country in the world where the US-backed fumigation program still operated, and the move represents the Santos administration's first concrete step toward progressive drug reform. If the New York Times editorial board can be believed, ending fumigation may even mark a bellwether shift in Latin America away from Uncle Sam's anti-narcotics hardline.
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