The Colombian government has started to use drones to destroy the plants of production of cocaine.
Small plane loaded with the herbicide are being sent to the search of illegal coca fields.
The president Iván Duque, has favored the use of drones to make sure that the damage to neighboring crops is kept to a minimum.
Critics have warned that the approach may be a technical solution to a problem that needs a political solution.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Colombian authorities had been associated with drone company Fumi Drones SAS to provide unmanned aircraft, as well as the training of the police.
German Huertas, the drone company’s director of operations, said that the aircraft had been removed approximately 90% of the cocaine in each acre (0.4 hectare) as directed during the tests on the country’s Narino province.
The trial has involved the deployment of 10 drones, each with a weight of 23 kg (51lb) and the realization of the plant-killing chemical glyphosate.
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The measures form part of the President Duke thrust to eradicate the production of cocaine in Colombia.
In June, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has published figures that indicate coca growth in the country had reached an all-time record, with an 11% increase from 465,000 hectares in the year 2016, to 516,000 acres in 2017.
At the time, ONDCP deputy director Jim Carroll said: “the President of Trump’s message to Colombia is clear: the record of growth in the production of cocaine must be reversed.”
Mr. Duke’s predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, has suspended the aerial spraying in the use of glyphosate in 2015, after the warnings of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the product could be related to the cancer.
A report of the organization of United Nations (UN) and THAT in 2016 it was against this finding, concluding that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.
After the ONDCP’s report, the outgoing Lord Saints approved the use of drones to find and destroy coca crops. He said that due to the height of the operations of the unmanned aerial vehicles would be to “simulate the earth, not air, spraying”.”Policy implications”
The unmanned nature of drones amid clashes with the farmers, it is unlikely to pose a hazard to the operation of the crews, while their average size can be maneuvered close to the ground to identify illicit crops.
The experts have urged caution, however, about relying on technology to solve a problem with deep social roots. Written by the Brookings Institution think tank, foreign policy expert Vanda Felbab-Brown says that the targeting with drones “do not avoid the vast political ramifications of forced eradication”.
She asks the colombian government to invest in alternative livelihoods for those involved in the cultivation of coca.
“It is a short-term solution,” says Richard Lapper, an associate member in the united states and the Americas, at the Chatham House think tank. “Ultimately, there is a large amount of international demand for cocaine.”
In recent years there has been an increase in initiatives for the use of drones to combat criminal activity. Drones have previously been used to track wildlife and identify poachers through reserves in South Africa, while a Moroccan is currently testing the use of autonomous drones to scan for illegal fishing in the Seychelles islands.
Drones have also been used on the other side of the drug trade. Drones have filmed the delivery of illegal substances to prisoners in the jails of the united kingdom, and in 2017, border patrol agents intercepted a methamphetamine shipment that had fallen the use of a drone.