Chinese herbicide worth over $6.5 million has caused friction between Colombian anti-narcotics police and U.S. embassy to Bogota, reported newspaper El Espectador Monday
The glyphosate used for the eradication of illegal crops, was bought by Colombian police in 2011 against U.S. advice. If used it could result in the withdrawal of U.S. support from the eradication program and could result in an increase in coca cultivation for the second year in a row.
According to analyses by U.S. experts the product has very toxic and flammable components and an irregular consistency. Added to this, the labels on the product were inexplicably altered to make it seem as though the product met all the requirements.
El Espectador reported that the drums of glyphosate were found to have been relabeled with “substantial discrepancies such as information and expiration dates, production lot, formulator company, among others.”
“It is definitely impossible to use the substance in the spraying of illicit crops in the context of this cooperation program,” said an official reminder from U.S. authorities to the Colombian ministry of defense in July.
The commander of the Colombian anti-narcotics police, on the other hand, told the newspaper that the chemical has all the permits and is usable.
The spraying of crops has been traditionally funded and managed by the narcotics affairs section of the U.S. embassy, however due to cuts in U.S. aid to Colombian counter-narcotic efforts, Colombia has been in charge of buying the chemicals since May last year.