by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), July 23, 2003
Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Illinois for yielding. I
also thank her for her leadership and for her work on the Committee
on Government Reform. I had the opportunity to chair the Subcommittee
on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources when some of the
Plan Colombia was put together.
And in conclusion here, we know that in the past, not much was done
to stem illegal narcotic production and trafficking or the violence
in Colombia. We had a President in Colombia who tried to the Cumbayah
and the peace in dealing with the terrorists and that did not work.
We now have a President in Colombia who is committed to the tenets of
Plan Colombia, which is a strong interdiction, which is demanding reforms
in the military to cultivation of other alternative crops, to building
the judiciary and the strength of the institutions of Colombia. We have
a President of the United States who is committed to Plan Colombia.
We have seen the results in the past where tens of thousands have died
per year in Colombia and in the United States. And now we have an opportunity
to move forward. Even the statistics of the Washington Post, which was
a critic in the beginning of Plan Colombia, now says the critics were
wrong. A 25 percent reduction in murders, a 33 percent reduction in
killings. So we have a President here committed to the plan. We have
a President in Colombia committed to the plan, and it is a working plan
and people are not dying.
let me insert in the RECORD since 1993, the number of deaths provided
to me today by ONDCP, Americans who died from drug-related deaths in
this country, drug-induced deaths, 148,185 Americans, more than we have
lost in any tragedy we can imagine of contemporary times, in the period
from 1993 to 2000, not even a 10-year period. We have a chance to stop
the death and the dying and the destruction of lives here. We have a
chance to stop the death and destruction and lives being lost in our
neighboring country Colombia; so it would be a step backward to pass
this amendment proposed by the gentleman. I know he is well intended,
but I strongly urge opposition to this.
As of August
6, 2003, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r108:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20030723)