厄瓜多外交部長沙瓦多(María Isabel Salvador)於首都基多宣布此訴訟案的記者會上表示，「有鑒於過去在古柯田噴灑熏蒸藥物帶來的危害，總統柯利亞(Rafael Correa)於2007年即成立了由本國傑出的科學家所組成的厄瓜多科學委員會。
哥倫比亞境內為全球古柯鹼主要產地，美國因此自2000年以來，持續資助哥倫比亞地區古柯作物的氣體噴劑。據美國國務院於2007年3月公布的「國際毒品管制策略報告」(International Narcotics Control Strategy Report)，哥倫比亞警政署轄下的反毒品理事會，為減少非法古柯鹼與大麻作物，2006年噴灑的古柯噴劑約17萬1613公頃。
The government of Ecuador today filed suit at the International Court of Justice against the government of Colombia, in an effort to stop or restrict aerial anti-coca spraying that has allegedly sickened people on the Ecuadorean side of the border and harmed livestock, farmland, and sensitive, ecologically diverse rainforest areas.
The lawsuit follows seven years of persistent but unsuccessful diplomatic efforts on Ecuador's part to convince its neighbor to the north to establish a 10 kilometer (six mile) no-spray zone along their shared border.
Colombia is expected to argue that the aerial fumigation of illegal coca farms, which provide the raw material for cocaine production, is a linchpin of the war on drugs. Ecuador claims that the chemical sprays have sickened its people, poisoned farmland and damaged ecologically sensitive areas.
At a press conference in Quito announcing the lawsuit, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister María Isabel Salvador said, "With the purpose of establishing the existence and dimensions of the afflictions suffered by Ecuador as a result of these and past fumigations, last year President Rafael Correa created the Ecuadorian Scientific Commission, comprised of eminent scientists from our country.
"The results of the commission's work have been crucial to reaching the irrefutable conclusion that Colombian aerial fumigations have had noxious effects on our people and our environment," she said.
"There is no doubt that the fumigations conducted by the government of Colombia constitute a grave violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador and of the most basic principles of international law," she said, "which prohibits a state from causing harm to the population, land and well-being of a neighboring state."
Since spraying began in 2000, Colombia has refused to consider such measures, the lawsuit asserts. Instead, its planes and helicopters loaded with herbicide have flown right up to and sometimes directly over the border, releasing chemicals designed to eradicate all forms of plant life.
The spray has drifted to the Ecuadorean side, where villagers have reported feeling the mist settle on their skin. People in Ecuadorean border communities, many of them poor subsistence farmers or those raising small cash crops, have suffered skin lesions and rashes, burning eyes, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, and intestinal bleeding. Some have died.
Ecuador alleges that the spraying has killed livestock and crops, forcing the abandonment of villages, while harming ecologically sensitive areas of high biodiversity. Nearly one third of the country's territory is protected or park land, and Ecuador is estimated to have the highest average biological diversity of any nation on Earth.
Since 2000, the United States has been financing the aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia, which is the world's leading producer. In 2006, the Colombian National Police's Anti-Narcotics Directorate sprayed 171,613 hectares of illegally grown coca and opium poppy, according to a March 2007 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the U.S. State Department.