|STATE OF THE MEXICAN UNION
with journalist MICHAEL STOTT
April 29, 1997
Other questions asked
in this forum:
Does The United States have the right to certify or decertify anyone? Will the new Mexican drug agency remain free from corruption? Should the U.S. be thinking more about the problem of demand instead of supply from Mexico? Is an environmental disaster occurring quietly in Mexico? Will a new ambassador change U.S.-Mexican relations? What is being accomplished by President Clinton's and President Zedillo's trips?
February 27, 1997:
Charles Krause interviews Sen. Diane Feinstein about her opposition to re-certifying Mexico.
Oct. 4, 1996:
Charles Krause analyzes EPR rebels attacks and their potential impact on the future stability of Mexico .
Sept. 13, 1996:
Learn about EPR activities in Mexico in an Online Forum with NewsHour foreign correspondent Charles Krause.
March 20, 1996:
An interview with Columbia's President Samper, discussing his country's decertification as an ally with the U.S. in it's war on drugs.
The complete NewsHour coverage of Latin America.
A Map of Mexico
Inter-American Development Bank
The bio of Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary Of State For International Narcotics And Law Enforcement Affairs
Senator Dianne Feinstein's press releases about Mexico.
Arthur R Sobey of Corpus Christi, TX asks:
What is happening in Mexico, Central America, and South America as a result of fifteen years of dumping herbicides all over the countryside. I hear horror stories of sickness and hunger as more and more of the ground becomes poisoned. Why has no attention been called to this atrocity?
This is the "Agent Orange" of the next 20 years. Is it pressure from the U.S. government that causes silence in the media? Are reporters being bought off or scared off this story?
The silence is very loud on this issue.
Michael Stott responds:
U.S. officials insist that the herbicides used in spraying drug crops are safe and cause no health problems; however some Latin American nations such as Bolivia have refused to use aerial spraying because of local opposition. In Colombia, the herbicide most used has been glyphosate -- a chemical we have been told is sold in the United States as a commercial weedkiller under the name Roundup.Visiting ministers to Colombia from nations such as France and Britain have stood under planes as they sprayed glyphosate on poppy fields, supposedly to show that it was safe.
Drug traffickers and their frontmen, as well as guerrillas in Colombia who help protect drug crops, have repeatedly claimed that the spraying is harming health but it is hard to independently verify instances of sickness.
In Mexico, some drug crops have been sprayed from the air with paraquat, a chemical which causes headaches for anyone underneath. However the drug crops sprayed in Mexico are often isolated patches on otherwise barren hillsides so the chance of hitting legitimate crops or houses is diminished. Clearly, the destruction of drug crops can cause economic hardship to the farmers who grow them (hence possibly cases of rural hunger).