by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), July 24, 2001
Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
My colleagues, this
amendment is exceedingly uncomplicated. It calls for the prohibition of
aerial spraying efforts in Colombia in an attempt to eradicate illicit
crops. We are offering this amendment because this program and this part
of our Plan Colombia Andean Initiative has been spectacularly unsuccessful.
We have a number
of photographs that I just want to bring to my colleagues' attention.
The picture of the baby was taken by an American photographer, Angeline
Rudd, was taken on a delegation that she went on to Colombia in March
of this year. The little child was caught under the aerial spray and the
rash is a result of the exposure to the herbicide. The photos of cows
grazing in a typical pasture in Putumayo were taken January 2001 by Paul
Dix, professional photographer from this country. And the next picture,
several days later, shows a cow, a dead cow that had grazed on a pasture
that had been sprayed with our defoliant of choice, Roundup.
This cow and others
had failed to notice a warning Monsanto had issued against grazing livestock
within 30 days in fields that have been sprayed with Roundup, the chemical
used in aerial fumigation.
Now, here is the
problem. I pose no preference of how we take care of the eradication of
drugs, coca crops; but the problem, if we destroy farmer's crops before
we have gotten to the agricultural alternative, guess what happens to
the farmers? Okay, this is not complicated, my colleagues. No military
background required or not much agricultural background either. All we
do is watch and see what happens as a result.
people, we cannot be destroying poor farmers' crops, who then either have
to, one, go further into the rain forest, clearing virgin forest for more
coca crops, which destabilizes the ecosystem; or they join the 2 million
or more internal refugees in Colombia, who usually end up in the cities;
or they join the largest employers in the region, the right-wing paramilitary
or the left-wing guerrillas, if they do not get killed in a war between
both of them, who are trying to control more land. Not a pleasant picture.
And so supply-side
eradication has a lot in common with its namesake, supply-side economics.
As of October 3, 2001,
this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r107:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20010724)