Newsbrief: Colombian Court Orders Fumigation Halt -- US, Colombia Say No Way 7/3/03

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A Colombian court has ordered the immediate halt of the aerial fumigation of proscribed crops in Colombia, a centerpiece of the US anti-drug strategy there, but both the Colombian and US governments have vowed to continue spraying anyway. The administrative tribunal of Cundinamarca on June 25 ordered the immediate suspension of spraying because the Colombian government had failed to protect the health and safety of its citizens by engaging in the spraying without examining its environmental and health impacts.

The Colombian government immediately announced that it would appeal the ruling and that the ruling would be suspended until the appeal is heard. And President Alvaro Uribe added that spraying would halt over his dead body. "Let's speak frankly," Uribe told El Tiempo, "while I am president of the republic I will not suspend the spraying. I don't want to deceive the people, I don't want to say one thing here and another thing there. We are going to defeat the drugs by whatever means, since they have brought nothing but violence and problems to the Colombian people."

US State Department spokesman Charles Barkley told El Tiempo that if Colombia suspended the anti-drug spraying, US funding for Colombia's war on drug trafficking and leftist guerrillas could dry up. "The eradication of drugs is the centerpiece of our effort in Colombia," Barkley said. "We do many things to help the country, but our central objective, because it affects us directly, is to slow the drug traffic. Without fumigation, which is the most effective method to confront the problem from the Colombian perspective, I doubt very much that Congress would want to continue spending resources."

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Issue #294, 7/3/03 Editorial: Not Just in Texas | US Appeals Court Kills DEA Interpretive Rule Banning Hemp Foods, But More Battles Remain | British Cannabis Reform Delayed, Revised to Allow Arrests After Cops Complain | Canada Approves Safe Injection Site for Vancouver | Newsbrief: US Suspends Military Aid to Colombia, Others in International Criminal Court Scrap | Newsbrief: Colombian Court Orders Fumigation Halt -- US, Colombia Say No Way | Newsbrief: "No Legalization," Says Mexico Anti-Drug Official | Newsbrief: Another Pain Doc in the Drug War's Sights | Newsbrief: American Nurses Association Endorses Access to Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Connecticut Lawmakers Call for Sentencing Reform | Newsbrief: Delaware Cuts Sentences for Some Drug Crimes | Newsbrief: Poll Finds California Latinos Oppose Jailing Low-Level Drug Offenders | Bill Maher Benefit Event Monday Night, 7/7, Los Angeles | The Reformer's Calendar

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