HomeNewsBriefColombia Suspends Coca Spraying in Northwest Amid Protests
BRIEF

Colombia Suspends Coca Spraying in Northwest Amid Protests

COLOMBIA / 29 SEP 2011 BY RONAN GRAHAM EN

Indigenous and Afro-Colombian protesters forced the authorities to suspend aerial fumigation of coca crops in north-west Colombia after large scale protests which blocked waterways and roads.

According to the NGO Inter-Ethnic Solidarity Forum of Choco (FisChoco), which supports the action, the protesters blocked river traffic on the San Juan, Condoto and Sipi rivers, among others in the region. Protests began Sunday when peasant farmers blocked roads linking the Choco province to the rest of Colombia.

The protesters complain that strong herbicides used to eradicate crops damage the health of local people, and hurt legal crops, kill domestic animals and taint water sources. "We are not against illicit crops being eradicated, but that they are doing it with glyphosate," Ivonne Caicedo, a spokesperson for FisChoco, told press.

The local authorities have agreed to suspend aerial fumigation and instead carry out manual eradication of coca plants. This can be risky, as armed groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) often guard their coca fields with landmines.

Meanwhile, there are fears that demonstrations could escalate in the municipality of Taraza in the north-western department of Antioquia, also in opposition to government attempts to eradicate coca crops.Local government official Didier Upegui has raised concerns that demonstrators, who he claimed had been instigated by armed groups including the FARC, could attempt to block road access from the center of Colombia to the Atlantic coast.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 16 OCT 2014

Officials in Colombia say drug traffickers have begun moving large quantities of unrefined cocaine paste to Europe, but with little…

COLOMBIA / 8 APR 2014

The government in Colombia is to strengthen customs controls on its borders in an attempt to tackle widespread contraband smuggling…

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced at a meeting of high-ranking Colombian military officials that regional security commanders from…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…