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Two AT-802 planes are seen fumigating coca fields in San Miguel, Colombia. Two AT-802 planes are seen fumigating coca fields in San Miguel, Colombia, Dec. 11, 2006 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Duque’s Misguided Push to Restart Aerial Spraying of Coca in Colombia

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about national drug policies in various countries around the world.

Last month, the Constitutional Court of Colombia upheld restrictions that it imposed in 2017 on the aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate to eradicate coca, the base ingredient in cocaine. But the court said aerial spraying could resume if the government meets certain conditions. The decision was a setback for President Ivan Duque’s efforts to restart the program, which was suspended by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, in 2015, due to a finding by the World Health Organization that glyphosate is most likely carcinogenic for humans. Duque’s government has said it will try to meet the court’s conditions to revive the program, but Isabel Pereira, a Bogota-based drug policy expert at the NGO Dejusticia, doubts those efforts will succeed, as she explains in an interview on this weeks’ Trend Lines podcast. ...

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