This source is a report on the effects Plan Colombia was having in the first year of it being implemented. Written in January 2001 by New York Times journalist Juan Forero, this source covers the plan from a critical, but balanced point of view, highlighting all the damage the plan had already done, but also offering the Colombian government’s rationale for the policy. This source, much like Krofts CBS report, uses interviews with local public officials to show the impact that the plan was having on those being sprayed. It documents how the spraying was harming the farmers in terms of their health and economic prospects. Interestingly enough, it does not use interviews with farmers. Whether this is on purpose or an accident, this is one of the failings of this source, even though we get the perspective of those who are advocates for the farmers, we don’t read what the farmers themselves are saying.
Where this source most differs from Kroft’s report is in its interviews with Colombian government officials including General Mario Montoya who was in charge of the spraying operation and Pastrana’s “pointman”, Gonzalo de Francisco. de Francisco is dismissive of farmer’s complaints, arguing that they would not be dealing with fumigations if they signed the deal to self-eradicate. Montoya’s view is similar, he sees this as something that needs to happen in order to end the cocaine trade and weaken the FARC. While this author offers information critical of the plan, the end of the article frames the fumigations more from the military perspective as something that is tragic, but necessary. This source is helpful because it shows how the Colombian government and military were framing the fumigation tactics at the beginning of the plan.
Forero, Juan. “No Crops Spared in Colombia’s Coca War.” The New York Times. The New York Times, January 31, 2001. https://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/31/world/no-crops-spared-in-colombia-s-coca-war.html.