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  • tgsxpl tgsxpl Jun 26, 2001 4:54 PM Flag


    A prominent U.S. Senator and other government officials from both Washington and Bogot� stood on a Colombian mountainside above fields of lime-green coca -- the plant sacred to Andean Indians, but also the source of the troublesome drug cocaine. They were awaiting a demonstration of aerial herbicide spraying, part of the U.S. drug war in Colombia. The spectacle, put on by the U.S. embassy in Bogot� last December, was supposed to address Senator Paul Wellstone's doubts about the accuracy and safety of the U.S.-sponsored drug fumigation program. Wellstone, a Democrat from Minnesota, is a fierce critic of military aid to Colombia and the demonstration needed to come off without a hitch, to win him over to the use of aerially sprayed herbicides. The night before, U.S. officials had responded to the Senator's skeptical questions by assuring him that the spraying would target coca fields without harming food crops.

    "They had said that by using satellite images they could hit very precisely targets without any chance of danger to surrounding crops" said Jim Farrell, Wellstone's spokesperson, who was also there. However that turned out not to be the case. "On the very first flyover by the cropduster, the U.S. Senator, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, the Lieutenant Colonel of the Colombian National Police, and other Embassy and congressional staffers were fully doused -- drenched, in fact -- with the sticky, possibly dangerous (herbicide) Roundup."

    "Imagine what is happening when a high-level congressional delegation is not present," Farrell noted, pointing out that careful preparation had gone into the botched flyover. Wellstone left Colombia completely unconvinced by the Embassy.

    The United States has sprayed tons of Roundup and Roundup Ultra, produced by the St. Louis-based chemical and biotechnology giant, Monsanto, during the 24 year-long drug war in Colombia. The use of these herbicides (both of which we refer to as Roundup in this story) has consistently produced health complaints from campesinos in the Colombian countryside. Those complaints have gone largely ignored by government officials in Washington and corporate honchos within Monsanto. Meanwhile, Monsanto's sordid history as the manufacturer of Agent Orange, a defoliant used during the Vietnam war, raises serious questions about its role in Colombia's drug war and the need for transparency in its dealings with Washington.

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    • Again with this story tgsxpl. I'm sure it is a corporate conspiracy but please just one credible news source on this. Don't you think a every news org in the US would have jumped on a story of a Senator being doused in this stuff.

      And don't you think the esteemed Senator himself would have made mention of it on his official website. There are a lot of stories linked there but not one about this. Very interesting huh?

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