QUITO – The aerial fumigations that Colombia has carried out recently against coca plantations along its southern border have not affected Ecuador, Quito’s top diplomat said Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño sought to reassure Ecuadorians that three operations carried out recently by the Colombian authorities took place at least 15 kilometers (10 miles) away from the border.
Aerial spraying with the herbicide glyphosate is one of the tools the Colombian government uses to eradicate coca, the raw material of cocaine.
Last March, a team of Ecuadorian experts visited the San Lorenzo border area to gather soil, water and plant samples and assess the possible impact of Colombia’s aerial fumigation.
“The studies have found that glyphosate has not reached Ecuador,” Patiño told the Gama television network.
Colombia agreed last year to pay $15 million to settle Ecuador’s 2008 complaint before the International Court of Justice over the cross-border drift of glyphosate, a chemical sold in the United States under the brand name of Roundup.