Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ecuador and Colombia

Ecuador’s case against Colombia’s drug fumigation has begun at the International Court of Justice (I first mentioned it here). In addition to the charges of sovereignty violation, Ecuador argues that Colombia will not even reveal what the chemical mix actually is. The Colombian ambassador rather testily replied that there was no “secret mix” and that such accusations should be directed only at the ICJ, and not discussed publicly. (It is worth noting that the Colombian government used the exact same "media leak" strategy with the FARC laptops, so this response is disingenuous to say the least).

It’s hard to see Ecuador losing this case, especially since its demands are very moderate (i.e. stop spraying our territory and compensate people who have been harmed by it). With any luck, it will also foster greater discussion about the effects of aerial fumigation to fight coca production. The U.S. government loves the strategy, because it is low cost and you can easily point to how many hectares have been sprayed as a way to measure “success.” People being sprayed have a slightly different view.

On a related issue, Rafael Correa said a month ago that he would declassify documents showing that Alvaro Uribe was lying about his government’s links to the FARC. I haven’t heard anything more about that.


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