WHEREAS, the United States Congress has recently approved the expenditure of $1.3 billion in military aid to the Colombian government to wage a war against insurgents and to spray suspected coca growing regions with an herbicide containing a fungus called Fusarium that attacks the roots of the plant killing it;
WHEREAS, 36,000 civilian citizens in Columbia have lost their lives in the political unrest and 3,832 politically motivated murders were committed in 1998 with the bulk of them carried out by the army, police and rightwing paramilitary forces all significantly funded and trained by the U.S. government in the name of the War on Drugs;
WHEREAS, despite U.S. government contentions that Fusarium will not cause damage to other plants or people, a mystery epidemic of Fusarium in Peru in the late 1980’s caused extensive damage to crops other than coca ruining the ability of peasant farmers to make a living;
WHEREAS, the mortality rate among hospital patients in that region at that time, whose immune systems were lowered, was 76%;
WHEREAS, the environmental and human damage from the use of Fusarium is not reliably or accurately known at this time; and
WHEREAS, international law prohibits genocide and the use of biological warfare;
BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which is the pre-eminent organization of criminal lawyers with over 10,000 members, condemns the use of Fusarium to eradicate the coca plant in Colombia and calls for an end to the United State’s role in supplying money, training and weapons (including biological weapons) to assist the Colombian military, police and right-wing paramilitary groups to make war and genocide on its own people.
New York, New York