On July 17, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sent an amendment to the Congressional Rules Committee asking that no part of the funds that the United States sends to Colombia be used for fumigation of illegal crops, according to the Leaders League.
AOC wrote, “ None of the amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be made available to directly conduct aerial fumigation in Colombia unless there are demonstrated actions by the Government of Colombia to adhere to national and local laws and regulations.”
The fumigation carried out by the government of Colombia is aimed at eliminating coca crops that are prohibited because they are used to produce cocaine. The peasants and “social leaders” where these measures are applied have complained that by opposing what they call “forced eradication” of these crops, the military has responded with guns and many have died. Other deaths have been attributed to crossfire between the National Liberation Army and People’s Liberation Army militias. The ELN and EPL, both communist militias, are the ones fighting for the management of the drug trade in the interior of the country.
The peasants also complain that the fumigation ends up contaminating the water they use to live.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) wrote a letter on July 6, 2020, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that he submit a report on human rights violations in Colombia and whether there was any instance of cooperation between the United States and Colombia that resulted in the arrest, prosecution, or death of any of these social leaders. The letter was signed by 94 other members of Congress.
President Trump has shown his support for the current government of Colombia and its people in a recent video congratulating “the people of Colombia” and saying, “Colombia has very special people and a special government” on Colombia’s Independence Day.
Colombia has had some 50 years of nonstop conflict between FARC and different governments, mainly due to the drug trade run by the communist militias.
The government of Juan Manuel Santo signed a peace agreement between FARC and the government in 2016, which meant a ceasefire for the communist militia. However, new militias have continued the fight to manage drugs in Colombia.