Colombia’s prosecutor general on Saturday called on the government to consider resuming aerial fumigation on claims crop substitution targets for this year will not be met.
In an interview with leading newspaper El Tiempo, Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez warned that the criminal interests behind coca would not allow the effective implementation of peace.
The country’s chief prosecutor had earlier bartered unilateral changes to a year-old peace deal with the FARC in regards to demobilized guerrillas’ legal status.
Martinez has been under fire from the Senate where critics have renounced his ties to allegedly corrupt officials.
The government has claimed to have removed only 7,000 hectares of the 50,000 that were promised before the end of the year.
The government said another 50,000 hectares would be eradicated by force.
A report from the International Crisis Group indicated that the government does not have the funds to carry out investments that would allow farmers to turn to legal crops like cocoa, coffee and yuca.
President Juan Manuel Santos has said there would be no cuts in the 500,000-strong security forces that have been disgraced by corruption and human rights violations.
A top UN official told press in Washington just a day earlier that the government could be dropping the ball on the reintegration of fighters and public safety in territories previously under FARC control.
Aggressive forced eradication operations promoted by the United States have left multiple civilians dead in several parts of the country.
Rural and indigenous groups have said the government has failed to keep commitments with the communities in the former war zones, leaving them vulnerable to poverty and violence.
The aerial spraying of pesticides was banned a few years ago after health complaints by locals, who have also claimed the pesticide did not just kill coca, but all crops.
In some areas violence increased over the power vacuum left by the FARC’s demobilization and state failures to provide basic services.
New or old conflicts?
A decade ago, almost half a million were expelled from their homes every year. Many from the 8 million displaced have yet to return home.
The armed conflict killed more than 250,000 civilians. Tens of thousands more are missing and feared dead.