The President of the The Federation of Ecuadorian Peasants (Forccofes) has said that he does not approve the agreement reached between Colombia and Ecuador over aerial coca spraying, local media reported on Monday.
The Colombian government confirmed last week that an agreement had been reached between the two countries, ending the aerial spraying of herbicides on illicit crops near the countries’ border. Ecuador had originally launched a complaint to the international court in The Hague against Colombia, after the administration of former president Alvaro Uribe indiscriminately sprayed areas in Ecuador without prior consultation.
But the President of Forccofes, Daniel Alarcon, has said that he does not approve the agreement. He argues that it in fact allows for Colombia to resume spraying near border areas, a practice suspended in 2007. According to news outlet Cable Noticias, he specifically states that the boundary between the Ecuadorian province of Sucumbios and the Colombian department of Putumayo is an area lined up for potential testing.
“That would be the start of the problem again,” said Alarcon, recalling that in previous aerial eradication campaigns, the glyphosate released from Colombian planes would travel “40 or 50 km inside the Ecuador border.”
“We cannot let that happen again. Our lands have deteriorated and the people are now more fragile from diseases they did not have previously,” added Alarcon.
Alarcon explained that Forccofes has repeatedly asked for a meeting with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa in order to discuss their proposals, because according to him, it is they who have suffered the effects of fumigation directly.
- Campesinos opuestos a pacto sobre fumigaciones (El Tiempo)
- Campesinos Ecuador opuestos a pacto de fumigaciones antidrogas colombianas (Cable Noticias)