AP NEWS

Colombia’s Duque open to aerial fumigation with planes

June 28, 2018
Colombian President-elect Ivan Duque talks to reporters before meeting Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Luis Alonso Lugo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Colombian President-elect Ivan Duque says he’s open to a return of aerial fumigation with planes to reverse a record surge in production of coca, the raw material for cocaine.

When asked whether he prefers planes or drones to spray herbicides, Duque says: “At this time we have to look at all options, and they must be the ones that guarantee the most precision, the most effectiveness and that minimize any damage to third parties.”

Outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos had banned the aerial spraying of coca crops in response to a constitutional court ruling pointing out health and environmental risks.

Duque will take office on August 7. He talked to reporters in Washington before meeting Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. He plans to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday afternoon.