Have a Coke and a Frown
Residents of a number of Colombian villages say their health, crops, and farm animals are being threatened by an American-sponsored program intended to wipe out heroin poppy and coca cultivation, and they fear that problems are likely to get worse with a Clinton administration proposal to intensify its anti-drug efforts in Colombia. Government planes and helicopters fumigate tens of thousands of acres in an attempt to eradicate illegal crops, and many say that they spray indiscriminately, often hitting schools, homes, and legitimate farms. Dozens of residents of a remote Indian village became ill during a recent bout of spraying, complaining of nausea, vomiting, rashes, blurred vision, and other problems. Despite increased fumigation efforts, heroin and cocaine production in Colombia has more than doubled since 1995.