S. Hrg. 108-236: U.S. Policy Regarding Narcotics Control in Colombia: Hearing before the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, June 3, 2003   [open pdf - 339KB]

The people of Colombia live with a level of violence that Americans cannot comprehend; the bravery that Vice President Santos and his colleagues in government have demonstrated in the face of that danger is inspiring. We have a duty to help in this effort because it is America's seemingly insatiable demand for narcotics that has helped fuel the drug trade. Last year, there was a 15 percent decrease in coca cultivation and a 25 percent decrease in opium poppy cultivation. This reduced supply has led to a modest decrease in purity of both cocaine and heroin on the streets of the United States. There is still a long way to go, but this progress is encouraging. We must do more to help Colombia's neighbors guard against the so-called balloon effect''. This hearing discusses a three-pronged strategy to successfully counter the drug trade in the entire region: eradication, interdiction, and alternative economic opportunities. Several other elements of U.S. policy in Colombia are also discussed. First, the issue of human rights in Colombia. Second, the reality that Colombia's illegal groups are all involved in the drug trade. Finally, we must make sure that our other commitments abroad do not distract us from our promise to help Colombia and its neighbors. There's a lot on the foreign policy agenda. But we have a lot at stake in the Andes, and we owe it to our neighbors to help. Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Charles E. Grassley, Joseph R. Biden, Mike DeWine, Jeff Sessions, Francisco Santos-Calderon, Paul E. Simons, J. Curtis Struble, James T. Hill, Jess T. Ford, and Phillip McLean.

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S. Hrg. 108-236; Senate Hearing 108-236
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