Colombia To Unleash Swarms Of Cocaine-Loving Butterflies As Soldiers In The War On Drugs
The government of Colombia has announced that it will cease usage of Monsanto’s ‘RoundUp’ herbicide after a statement was released last month from the WHO claiming that the main ingredient in the herbicide is likely carcinogenic. There’s now a proposal to use cocaine-eating butterflies to replace the herbicide, which leads to the greatest mental image in the history of the War on Drugs: Colombian drug rebels running through their coca plant fields chasing butterflies. The FARC forces will be running through the fields, hacking at pretty butterflies with machetes, trying to stave off the butterfly invasion.
The butterfly that Alberto Gomez, President of the Quindio Botanical Garden, proposed to use is one whose diet consists specifically of the coca plant that produces cocaine. There are over 150 types of the coca plant, but only two of those 157 plants are used to make cocaine. It just so happens that this butterfly targets and eats those two specific variations of the plant.
It’s not the first time this has been proposed as an option to eradicate illegal coca plants, but this time around with the cessation of Monsanto’s RoundUp it seems much more likely to be approved. Knoxville’s Local 8 reports:
President of Quindio Botanical Garden Government Alberto Gomez began a pilot program when he was the minister of defense. It consisted of installing a coca plant in a military fortress and introduce the coca eating butterfly. The project was not approved.
The biggest story here though is not that Colombia’s going to be using pretty butterflies to try and eradicate cocaine, it’s that one of the biggest companies in the world, Monsanto, is getting kicked to the curb.
Canada’s Global News has the story on how all of this came about:
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced Saturday he is halting use of a herbicide that has been a key part of U.S.-financed efforts to wipe out cocaine crops, saying the country will seek other ways to destroy coca plants (butterflies).
More than 4 million acres of land in Colombia have been sprayed with the popular weed killer over the past two decades to kill the plants whose leaves produce cocaine. The spraying program is partly carried out by U.S. contractors.
The decision to end fumigation program could have a side effect of somewhat easing ongoing peace talks with the country’s main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which has demanded an end to the spraying as part of any deal.
The two sides already had agreed that aerial eradication would be used only as a last resort.
The presence of the rebels was a principal reason for introducing airborne coca fumigation in Colombia because guerrilla fighters long protected coca crops, making manual eradication dangerous.
The other two main cocaine-producing countries, Peru and Bolivia, have avoided use of chemical herbicides, using manual eradication instead.
So there it is, we’re likely going to see cocaine eating butterflies swarming the jungles of Colombia before the year’s end. The butterfly in question is the Eloria Noyesi butterfly, and not the morpho butterfly in the image featured above.