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Chemical and Biological Weapons in the Plan Colombia

Questions Regarding the “antinarcotics strategy”

Darío González Posso[**]

December 2001
The “Plan Colombia”, approved by the US Congress in July 2000, includes support for the UNDCP strategy to use “biological control agents” against Coca crops.

The Colombian state is violating its peoples Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by fumigating “illicit” crops with chemical substances. This measure affects other crops, food safety, and leads to the forced displacement of the inhabitants from the fumigated regions.

Additionally, the government has threatened to apply, on a massive scale, a fungus whose toxins are banned biological weapons in accordance with the International Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of 1972. This threat to biodiversity and Human Rights, which could spill over to all of the Andean Region and the Amazon basin, has been halted temporarily thanks to activism against it in Colombia and at an international level. The danger, however, persists.

In July 2001, the USA voided six years of negotiations of the protocol for ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention. Its intends to violate said treaty under the allegation that the agreement threatens the confidentiality of its pharmaceutical industry and its biological research. In December 2001 it blocked the success of the  V Conference to Examine the Biological Weapons Convention, which had to be thus postponed until Novermber 11, 2002, without having approved any resolution whatsoever.  The US Ambassador to Geneva, Donald Mahley, commented that his country would not accept any limitation to the use of biological weapons in the War on Drugs because the US was planning on using these weapons in Colombia..

This papers also questions the sense of the “Plan Colombia’s antinarcotics strategy”, which ¾far from being a true “struggle against narcotics trafficking”¾ is rather addressing the means by which to impose economic domination and strategic political and military control over the Andean-Amazon Region. The alternatives portrayed by González Posso include contributions from a collective debate and construction of a peace agenda for Colombia.

[*] Ponencia presentada en: Seminario internacional Plan Colombia: Una mirada a sus impactos políticos, económicos, sociales y ambientales. Universidad Nacional, Bogotá, 12-14 de septiembre 2001, Conference international in support of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM), and the Nuclear Disarmament treaties. Washington D.C., 27-28 October 2001; Universidad del Tolima, Ibagué, Semana Universitaria, 31 de octubre de 2001.
[**] Ingeniero Agrónomo, Especialista en Gestión y Planificación del Desarrollo Urbano y Regional. dariogonz@andinet.com
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