WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
27 Mar 2008 | News

Chemical Reactions April 7, 2008

Fumigation’s Consequences in Colombia and Implications for Afghanistan


The Washington Office on Latin America

is pleased to invite you to a seminar



Chemical Reactions

Fumigation's Consequences in Colombia


Implications for Afghanistan




Yamile Salinas Abdala

Fundación INDEPAZ (Institute for Development and Peace Studies)

Bogotá, Colombia



William Byrd

Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Advisor

The World Bank


Monday, April 7, 2008

10:30 am – 12:00 noon

The Washington Home of Stewart R. Mott

122 Maryland Avenue, NE

Washington, DC


Despite intensified aerial herbicide spraying in recent years, coca growing and cocaine production in Colombia remain robust.  Indeed, by jeopardizing rural families' food crops, fumigation has reinforced farmers' reliance on coca and prompted migration to new areas, spreading the ecological destruction that coca growing entails.   Notwithstanding fumigation's poor results in Colombia, the U.S. government has been pressing Afghanistan to undertake aerial spraying in the face of surging opium poppy cultivation. 

Please join us for a timely discussion of the impacts of fumigation in Colombia, the potential implications of adopting a similar approach in Afghanistan, and proposals for alternative drug control strategies in both countries.

Yamile Salinas Abdala is an expert on environmental issues and researcher for the Inspector General of Colombia at the Institute for Development and Peace Studies (INDEPAZ).

She is co-author of WOLA's new report, Chemical Reactions – Fumigation:  Spreading Coca and Threatening Colombia's Ecological and Cultural Diversity, at www.wola.org/media/WOLA%20Chemical%20Reactions%20February%202008.pdf

William Byrd is currently serving in the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC as Adviser in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the South Asia Region.  Until recently he was the Bank's Senior Economic Adviser based in Kabul, Afghanistan.  He has been responsible for helping develop the World Bank's strategy for support to Afghanistan's reconstruction effort and was responsible for establishing the World Bank's office in Kabul. He led the team that produced the first World Bank economic report on Afghanistan in a quarter-century.

He is co-author of a recent report from the World Bank and the UK's Department for International Development, Afghanistan:  Economic Incentives and Development Initiatives to Reduce Opium Production, at http://www.worldbank.org.af/

Ms. Salinas' remarks will be in Spanish, with interpretation into English available.

Please RSVP by April 3 to Rachel Robb at rrobb@wola.org  or call (202) 797-2171.