Pubdate: Mon, 26 Aug 2002
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
Copyright: 2002 Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Aug. 15 editorial on Colombia, not only is our government 
turning a blind eye to paramilitary human rights violations, but a very 
real environmental threat is being ignored.

In an effort to eradicate coca plants, toxic herbicides are sprayed from 
above, hitting water supplies, staple crops, and people. The aerial 
eradication campaign drives peasants further into the Amazon basin, which 
in turn leads to more rain forest destruction. Plan Colombia could very 
well spread both coca production and civil war throughout South America.

U.S. tax dollars would be better spent addressing the underlying 
socioeconomic causes of civil strife rather than applying overwhelming 
military force to attack the symptoms. We're not doing the Colombian people 
any favors by funding civil war. Nor are Americans being protected from 
drugs. Instead of waging a futile supply-side war abroad, we should be 
funding cost-effective drug treatment here at home.

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Alex