Tag: U.S. Policy

March 2, 2020

March 2, 2020
  • President Iván Duque makes a hastily planned visit to Washington, where he meets with President Donald Trump at the White House. Asked by a reporter about coca cultivation in Colombia, Trump tells Duque, “Well, you’re going to have to spray. If you don’t spray, you’re not going to get rid of them. So you have to spray, with regard to the drugs in Colombia.” Duque responds, “We have to combine all the elements that we have: obviously, precision spraying, but also the record highs that we reached in 2019 on manual eradication and also dismantling the drug cartels.”

Tags: Coca, Drug Policy, Illicit Crop Eradication, U.S. Policy

Latest Table of Aid to Colombia

February 24, 2020
Click to enlarge.

The Trump administration issued its 2021 State Department and foreign aid budget request to Congress on February 10. It calls for a big increase in counter-drug aid to Colombia’s police and military, along with cuts in economic aid and non-drug military aid.

Congress is certain to reverse this, as it has, on a bipartisan basis, with the Trump White House proposals to cut aid for 2018, 2019, and 2020. But in the meantime, here are the numbers from the past few years, starting before the Obama administration’s “Peace Colombia” aid package went into effect in 2017.

Sources for most of these numbers:

Not reflected here is assistance to Colombia to manage flows of Venezuelan refugees.

Tags: U.S. Aid, U.S. Policy

February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020
  • Colombian Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo pays a visit to the United States. He visits the U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force-North in Key West, Florida, which monitors suspicious aerial and maritime trafficking. He meets with top officials at Southern Command headquarters in Doral, Miami. And he travels to Washington for a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Photo source: Juan Chiari, U.S. Army Garrison-Miami, U.S. Southern Command

Tags: Defense Ministry, U.S. Policy

January 26, 2020

January 26, 2020

About 75 paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division carry out a paratrooper exercise at the Tolemaida base in Tolima. They were joined by 40 more personnel from U.S. Army South, the Southern Command’s Texas-based army component. “This gives us a repetition at projecting power through joint forcible entry,” 82nd Airborne spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Burns told Army Times.

Photo source: Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett at DVIDS
Photo source: Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett at DVIDS
Photo source: Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett at DVIDS
Photo source: Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett at DVIDS
Photo source: Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett at DVIDS

Tags: U.S. Policy

January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020
  • The U.S. Department of Justice communicates that top former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, who headed the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), will be returned to Colombia on March 27, twelve years after his extradition to the United States. A Colombian judge has determined that Mancuso has already served his required jail time under the “Justice and Peace” process that governed the AUC’s 2003-06 demobilization, though he must continue to cooperate with that process. Mancuso intends to collaborate with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) because, as a landowner, he supported paramilitary groups for several years before becoming a paramilitary leader.

Tags: Extradition, Paramilitarism, Transitional Justice, U.S. Policy