Colombia’s National Planning Council claimed Tuesday that the fight against drugs is lost and the current government’s ‘Democratic Security’ policy in large part is responsible for the systematic increase in human rights violations in the country.
The president of the council, Adolfo Atehortua, condemned the nation’s anti-drug policy, saying that it had been a total failure. As proof, he said that neither the number of hectares planted with illicit crops nor the net production of drugs had been significantly reduced. He also suggested that the spraying stop as it was increasing poverty in rural areas, reported newspaper El Espectador.
“The general and indiscriminate aerial spraying of crops damages farmers who have no other options, the helpless producers, testers without life projects or jobs, but does not eliminate the persistency of the drug plantations,” the Council President argued.
He added that the worst part was that Colombia is no longer just an exporting country but has become a consumer country of drugs as well. He has urged the legalization of soft drugs in an international campaign and not merely in Colombia.
“Legalization of the production [of soft drugs such as marijuana] would provide an opportunity for many farmers to come out of hiding to develop real centers of agricultural production,” Atehortua said, since the strategies of the Colombian and United States governments “have not hit the mark.”
The president added that the country has made progress in consolidating a favorable opinion regarding security but warned that it has fallen on respect for human rights, due to the government’s security policy, reported Caracol Radio.
Atehortua said that the countless false positives cases are proof of that fact, along with various acts denounced by the UN and the High Commissioner.
The false positives cases refer to a number of instances in which members of the country’s security forces have executed civilians and then presented them as guerrillas killed in combat in order to boost success figures.
Atehortua said that the war is won regarding human rights, as far as Colombia’s citizens and constitution are concerned, but stressed that the dark side of the Democratic Security Policy was the humanitarian crisis currently gripping the country.
The National Planning Council is a civilian council that was created through the 1991 constitution to take part in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of government policy.