OMBUSDSMAN'S OFFICE'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE PROGRAM TO
ERADICATE ILLICIT CROPS THROUGH AERIAL FUMIGATION WITH GLYPHOSATE
Yamile Salinas Abdala
The Colombian Ombudsman's Office has declared that aerial eradication with chemicals has not proven its effectiveness in the struggle against the production of psychotropic substances.
The struggle against said substances stresses criminal policies which contravene the Colombian state's constitutional obligation to protect its citizens’ rights and private property and fails to abide by the public policies which regulate the state’s obligation to this end, namely:
a- to provide, as of the positive differentiation principle, special protection for the most vulnerable of its peoples (minors, displaced populations, members of ethnic groups and rural populations);
b- to protect its citizens’ right to health, food, public health and, consequently, to their lives and a dignified life;
c- to protect its citizens’ right to not be displaced from their homes; and
d- to provide environmental protection and conservation, the protection of the nation's natural resources and of ethnical, ecological, and culturally protected areas as of the sustainable development principle.
All of the aforementioned rights are decreed by the stated social-state-of-law objectives whose guiding principles are solidarity and human dignity. Within this framework of ideas, all of the state's institutions should address their efforts to guaranteeing the defense of human rights as stipulated by international treaties and the Colombian constitution and legislation. That is to say that, the nation's authorities cannot, when implementing public policies (in this case the war on drugs), neglect or apply exceptional measures which disregard these rights.
Accordingly, the Ombudsman's Office has asked the national government to abide by the following:
1- To suspend the illicit crops forced eradication program until it has not taken the steps required to guarantee the rights of the inhabitants of the regions where these programs are being implemented.
2- To decriminalize small-crop growers;
3- To seek the international community's participation as of the shared-responsibility principle.
Translated from Spanish by MM Moreno,
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