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Last Updated:8/6/03
Speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), July 23, 2003

Mr. MICA. 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.

[Time: 21:15]
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.

Finally, 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)

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