Environmentalists and indigenous people in Colombia are worried about reports of a genetically modified fungus the United States has developed to fight its war on drugs.

The U.S. recently approved grants of $1 billion in military aid to Colombia to fight cocaine trafficking. Most of the funds are going to target the leftist guerrillas who control much of the southern part of the country.

Left untouched, many fear, will be the big cocaine barrons allied with far-right army-backed death squads.

The escalating war threatens to engulf Colombia in the next Vietnam and displace tens of thousands of peasants and indigenous people.

The genetically modified fungus is especially worrisome.

An Ecuadorian daily paper recently reported that 5,000 Colombian refugees had arrived in the country fleeing the war. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 more were expected in the following weeks.

The wave of refugees is coming from the Putumayo region of Colombia, where massive doses of a U.S.-made pesticide glyphosate are being sprayed to destroy coca and poppy plantations.