This source is an article and direct interviews by the Associated Press with coca growers in 2001 which was a few years into Plan Colombia. The article itself is a short news blurb explaining the farmers unhappiness with the policy of aerial fumigation that is part of the President’s larger Plan Colombia. The article says that the farmers would be happy to engage in different forms of agriculture, but their communities need to grow coca to survive. It was written soon after thousands of farmers and workers protested the plan. The source is written from the point of view of the farmer, so it appears to be more negative, but it adds no further analysis beyond the farmers’ opinions.
The other part of this source are video recordings and interviews with the farmers. Most of the clips show farmers at work or aerial fumigations occurring. There are also two interviews which were translated in the text description of the video. One of the interviewees takes on a negative view of the Plan and spraying saying the government should leave them alone because “The only thing the land here yields is cocaine. It doesn’t yield anything else”. The other interviewee explains he would be happy to grow different crops, but was upset that there were no warnings about the fumigations. It appears that the article takes the point of view of the second farmer who is critical, but open to planting new crops. This source is helpful because it shows what was on farmers minds as the spraying occurred.
Coca Farmers in the province of Norte de Santander in Colombia say that fumigation is threatening their livelihoods.
They say that the controversial U-S backed plan of aerial spraying is also killing off legitimate crops and animals.
Some 3,500 farmers and workers on the region’s extensive coca farms descended on the town of Tibu last week to protest the aerial spraying, part of a U.S.-backed plan to eliminate cocaine production in Colombia.
The farmers say they favour manual eradication and need an alternative in order for them to be able to survive.
They say that the government has begun spraying without consulting the local communities.
Colombia produces more than 80 percent of the world’s cocaine.
The government has sprayed herbicide on approximately 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of the region’s 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of coca.
The aerial spraying is part of President Andres Pastrana’s Plan Colombia, a 7.5 (b) billion U-S dollar program to eliminate narcotics production in this South American nation.
“Colombia Farmers: AP ARCHIVE,” June 16, 2001. http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/54afe0249d5b23654055e652cf7268a0