US eyes drone deployment to eradicate Colombia’s coca crops
The US Department of State has filed a request to initiate a project that – if carried out – would deploy commercial drones to spray poison on illegal coca crops in Colombia at the base of the country’s booming cocaine production.
The paperwork was filed earlier this month, and seeks industry feedback on drones and other equipment that would be provided to Columbia’s police forces to oversee the aerial coca eradication effort. It lists an array of specifications and requirements for craft performance, including both manual and automated flight modes, obstacle detection and avoidance tech, and surveying and data gathering capacities – not to mention the ability to carry pesticide reservoirs and spraying mechanisms.
The objective of the initiative is evident: use multi-functional drones to remotely identify, then kill coca crops in Colombia – which are often protected by guards, perimeters of explosives, or even wild animals – with reduced risks…