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Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Senators urge Trump to certify Colombian commitment to combating drug trade

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Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) recently forwarded correspondence to President Donald Trump to certify to Congress that Colombia is committed to working with authorities to combat the illegal drug trade.

Colombia, who the senators said is one of the most proactive nations countering narco-trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, should be certified as a major partner in the fight against illicit drugs.

“For decades, Colombia has been fighting a Marxist communist insurgency, narcoterrorists, and cartels that have sought to replace the democratically elected government with a narcostate,” the senators wrote. “Successive U.S. administrations have worked closely with Colombia’s elected leaders and security forces to build the capacity of Colombian security forces, stem the flow of illicit trafficking and interdict narcotics bound for the U.S. We have witnessed firsthand the results of this partnership.”

The letter also noted that after multiple trips to Colombia, Rubio and Scott witnessed the partners the Colombian National Police and Armed Forces are to U.S. intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. They also acknowledged that Colombian law enforcement appears to be improving their interdiction efforts. According to Rubio and Scott’s letter, Colombian police and military interdicted 407 metric tons of cocaine and coca base, roughly half of the country’s total cocaine production, between August 2018 and June 2019.

“It is our hope that Colombia will continue to build on this progress as a result of their Constitutional Court authorizing the Colombian government to restart aerial spraying of glyphosate on coca,” the senators wrote. “Therefore, we urge you to certify Colombia as a major partner in the fight against illicit drugs. Few steps would do more to show that the U.S. is committed to a strong relationship with Colombia in the years to come.”