Colombia faces Ecuador at the International Court of Justice for damage allegedly caused by the aerial fumigation of coca crops in the border region between 2000 and 2007.
On Thursday, legal representatives from both governments will meet before the International Court of Justice in The Hague to resolve a long lasting dispute over the aerial spraying of the non-selective herbicide Glyphosate.
Ecuador seeks compensation from the Colombian government for “serious” damage caused by the unauthorized use of the chemical across its border region during the seven year period in which Colombia used aerial fumigation to rid its border region of coca crops.
According to Ecuador’s Inspector General, Diego Garcia, both countries must come before ICJ president Song Sang Hyun to discuss the procedural schedule of the case.
Garcia previously represented Ecuador in the initial case it filed in March 2008 which accused Colombia of “violating its sovereignty” by continuing to spray across its border regions, despite repeated protests from the Ecuadorian government. A compiled report of over 450 pages notes that Colombia also disregarded published scientific reports claiming that the chemical exhibited high levels of toxicity.
As well as compensation, Ecuador seeks an injunction to prevent Colombia from conducting any future spraying within 10km of its border. President Rafael Correa says that he was forced to appeal to the ICJ after normal diplomatic procedures were “exhausted.”
Ecuador claims that the chemical caused significant damage to the health of the citizens of 94 communities in the border area. It also affected the crops and livestock in the area, causing an economic setback in the region, Quito claims.