Drug Control: U.S. Assistance to Colombia Will Take Years to Produce Results
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The United States has been providing assistance to Colombia since the early 1970s to help the Colombian National Police and other law enforcement agencies, the military, and civilian agencies in their efforts to reduce illegal drug production and trafficking activities. Despite this assistance, Colombia remains the worlds leading producer of cocaine and has become a major source of the heroin being used in the United States. In addition, Colombia faces internal problems, including active insurgent and paramilitary groups that control large sections of the country where most illegal drug activities are occurring. Recognizing that illegal drug activities are a serious problem in Colombia, the Colombian government, in October 1999, announced a 7.5 billion counternarcotics plan known as Plan Colombia. Among other things, Plan Colombia proposes to reduce the cultivation, processing, and distribution of narcotics by 50 percent over 6 years. To assist in this effort, in July 2000, the United States agreed to provide about 860 million to Colombia for fiscal years 2000-01, in addition to previously programmed U.S. assistance to Colombia of over 330 million for the same period. U.S. counternarcotics assistance to Colombia has almost doubled compared to 1999 levels.
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