Chemicals don’t discriminate, by Ross Eventon
For almost four decades now the planes have been departing Colombian airstrips with a single purpose. The objective in sight, the pilot dips in low. The chemical payload is released. The tank emptied, the mission is complete. The plane turns back for base.
Over time the target has changed: first it was marihuana, then coca leaves, later opium poppies. The weapon too has evolved, settling eventually on the glysophate-based Roundup Ultra, manufactured by the Monsanto corporation. The operators have changed too: once just local Colombian forces, today there are US pilots flying US-made planes spraying a US-made product in fulfilment of a multi-million dollar contract granted by the US government to a US corporation. [#st]