The insistence on fumigation, despite its undeniable failure in practice, is a sign that fumigation involves interests that go beyond antinarcotics and represent what are essentially political interests, to justify the US military and law enforcement presence in such a sensitive region.
For 37 years Colombia has been spraying chemicals to combat illicit crops, particularly coca. These massive eradication programmes became part of the US-backed 'War on Drugs'. The fumigations are controversial for their proven inefficacy to reduce supply and demand for the use of herbicides such as glyphosate.
Aerial fumigations with herbicides of drug crops in Colombia set in motion a vicious circle of human, social and environmental destruction. A worldwide campaign calls for the end of these harmful and inefficient forced eradication practices.
Despite 2006 witnessing the most intensive use of fumigation in the country’s history, some 157,200 hectares of cultivation areas were detected, 13,200 hectares more than in 2005. Is the fumigation strategy failing?
At the end of 2019 the government of Iván Duque presented a draft decree to resume the spraying of drug crops used for illicit purposes. It argued that spraying is the only instrument to curb the increase in coca crops.