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Last Updated:10/28/03
The United States and Colombia, 2003: A look at the numbers

The United States and Colombia, 2003:

A look at the numbers

U.S. aid to Colombia since 2000

  1. Overall U.S. aid to Colombia, 2000-2003[1]: $2.44 billion
  2. U.S. aid to Colombia’s military and police, 2000-2003[2]: $1.97 billion (80.5%)

  3. Overall U.S. aid to Colombia requested for 2004, including estimated defense-budget counternarcotics funds[3]: $688.29 million ($567.8 million through Foreign Operations)
  4. U.S. aid to Colombia’s military and police requested for 2004[4]: $552.59 million (80.3%) ($432.1 million through Foreign Operations)

  5. U.S. funds for maintenance of Colombian military and police aircraft, 2003 estimate[5] : $191.01 million
  6. Number of UH-60 “Blackhawk” helicopters granted to Colombia since 1999[6]: 22
  7. Cost of operating a Blackhawk for one hour[7]: nearly $3,000

  8. U.S. military, police, and fumigation funds paid to sixteen private contractors, 2002[8]: $150.38 million

  9. U.S. funds appropriated since August 2002 to help Colombia’s military protect the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline[9]: $99 million
  10. Share of oil in this pipeline belonging to U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum[10]: 43.75%
  11. Guerrilla bombings of Caño Limón pipeline in 2001[11]: 170
  12. Guerrilla bombings of Caño Limón pipeline in 2002, before the pipeline-protection program’s inauguration[12]: 41

Fighting drugs

  1. Coca grown in Colombia, 2000[13]: 136,200 hectares (336,600 acres)
  2. Coca sprayed with herbicide in Colombia, 2000-2002[14]: 254,586 hectares (629,096 acres)
  3. Coca grown in Colombia, 2002[15]: 144,400 hectares (356,820 acres)
  4. Increase in Colombian coca-growing, 2000-2002[16]: 8,200 hectares (+6.0%)

  5. Coca grown in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined, 2000[17]: 184,900 hectares (456,898 acres)
  6. Coca grown in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined, 2002[18]: 205,400 hectares (507,554 acres)
  7. Increase in Andean region coca-growing, 2000-2002[19]: 20,500 hectares (+11%)

  8. Total Andean coca cultivation in 2002, as a percentage of Rhode Island’s land area[20]: 75.9%
  9. Combined land area of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, as a multiple of Texas’ land area[21]: 5.19

  10. Colombian counties where a UN study detected coca, 2000[22]: 178
  11. Colombian counties where a UN study detected coca, 2002[23]: 162

  12. Price of a gram of powder cocaine, survey of 20 U.S. cities, fall 2000[24]: $30-200
  13. Price of a gram of powder cocaine, survey of 20 U.S. cities, summer 2002[25] : $28-150
  14. Price offered for a kilogram of coca paste in southern Colombia, 2000[26]: $600-800
  15. Price offered for a kilogram of coca paste in southern Colombia, 2003[27]: $600-800

Human rights

  1. Murders, disappearances, or combat deaths as a result of political violence in Colombia, October 1, 1999-September 30, 2000[28]: 6,067
  2. Murders, disappearances, or combat deaths as a result of political violence in Colombia, July 1, 2002-June 30, 2003[29]: 6,978

  3. Of four groups (the U.S. State Department, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International), number whose 2003 human rights reports maintain that many Colombian military and police personnel collaborate with paramilitaries on the U.S. terrorist list[30]: 4

  4. Date that Colombia’s United Self-Defense Forces (AUC) paramilitary group declared a cease-fire, thus fulfilling President Alvaro Uribe’s pre-condition for starting peace talks: December 1, 2002
  5. Paramilitary killings of civilian non-combatants during the first six months of 2003[31]: 603

  6. Colombian military personnel under investigation or awaiting trial for human rights abuse or collaboration with paramilitaries as of June 2003[32]: 27
  7. Among the above individuals, those above the rank of sergeant[33]: 10
  8. Those above the rank of major[34]:1

  9. Percentage of violent crimes that went unpunished in Colombia, 1995 (and likely 2003)[35] : 97

Alternative development

  1. Percentage of Colombian coca plots that are “family-size” (less than 3 hectares)[36]: 62%
  2. Colombian families helped by U.S.-funded alternative development programs, as of October 2003[37]: 33,000
  3. Colombian families estimated to have been displaced from their homes by fumigation since 1999[38]: 35,000

  4. Price of a pound of Colombian coffee, October 2003[39]: 67 cents
  5. Approximate price of a pound of coca leaves in rural Colombia[40]: $1.35

  6. Miles of paved roads in Putumayo, a Maryland-sized province with extensive coca cultivation, June 2002[41]: 55
  7. In three Putumayo counties, percentage of signers of alternative development assistance pacts who claim that their crops were sprayed with herbicides[42]: 32%

  8. Percentage of rural Colombians living in poverty, 2001[43]: 80%

Colombia’s contribution

  1. Colombia’s defense budget – excluding police expenditure - as a percentage of GDP, 2003 estimate[44]: 3.2%
  2. U.S. defense budget as a percentage of GDP, 2003 estimate: at least 4%

  3. Annual income of wealthiest 10 percent of Colombians, as a multiple of the income of the poorest 10 percent[45]: 42
  4. Annual income of wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, as a multiple of the income of the poorest 10 percent[46]: 17
  5. Colombia’s tax collection as a percentage of GDP, 2002[47]: 13.3%
  6. U.S. tax collection as a percentage of GDP, 2000[48]: 29.6%
  7. Percentage of Colombian recruits with high school degrees legally excluded from service in combat units[49]: 100%

  8. Recommended ratio of armed forces to insurgents, according to counterinsurgency doctrine[50]: 10 to 1
  9. Colombian military personnel available for combat, excluding those in training or support roles, mid-2002[51]: 60,000-80,000
  10. Colombian insurgents and paramilitaries combined, estimate[52]: 37,000

U.S. involvement

  1. Ratio of U.S. military and police assistance to Colombia’s own military and police budget, 2003[53]: 1:6
  2. Ratio of U.S. military and police assistance to El Salvador’s own military and police budget, 1984[54]: 4:7

  3. U.S. military personnel on Colombian soil, November 2001[55]: 117
  4. U.S. military personnel on Colombian soil, May 2003[56]: 358

  5. Private contractors who have died on the job in Colombia since 1998[57]: 11
  6. Months that three U.S. contractors have spent in custody of FARC guerrillas since their plane crash-landed in southern Colombia: 8 ½

[1] From numerous sources cited at http://ciponline.org/colombia/aidtable.htm. Includes estimates for 2003.

[2] ibid.

[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] United States, Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Congressional Justification (Washington: Department of State: June 2003) <http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/rpt/cbj/fy2004/>.

[6] Statement of Rand Beers, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, (Washington: February 28, 2001): <http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/022801.htm>.

Conference Committee report 105-825 on P.L. 105-277, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations bill which contains the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act (Washington: U.S. Congress, October 19, 1998) <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp105:FLD010:@1(hr825):>.

[7] Rep. Bob Barr, The Barr Report on Plan Colombia and the War on Drugs (Washington: House Government Reform Committee, January 2003): 8.

[8] United States, Department of State, Report on Certain Counternarcotics Activities in Colombia (Washington: Department of State, April 2003) <http://ciponline.org/colombia/03041401.htm>.

[9] United States, Department of State, Office of Resources, Plans and Policy, Congressional Presentation for Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year 2004 (Washington: February 2003) <http://www.state.gov/m/rm/rls/cbj/2004/>.

United States Congress, Public Law No: 107-206 (Washington: August 2, 2002) <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.4775.ENR:>.

[10] United States, Department of State, Report to Congress: Colombia: Cano Limon Pipeline (Washington: December 2002) <http://www.ciponline.org/colombia/02120001.htm>.

[11] ibid.

[12] Marc Grossman, under secretary of State for Political Affairs, press conference (Bogotá: March 5, 2003) <http://ciponline.org/colombia/03030501.htm>.

[13] United States, Department of State, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (Washington: Department of State, March 2003) <http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/nrcrpt/>.

[14] ibid.

[15] ibid.

[16] ibid.

[17] ibid.

[18] ibid.

[19] ibid.

[20] United States Census Bureau, State and County Quick Facts (Washington: site visited October 2003) <http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/44000.html>.

[21] ibid.

[22] Government of Colombia, Dirección Nacional de Estupefacientes, Proyecto Sistema Integrado de Monitoreo de Cultivos Ilícitos -SIMCI- Estadisticas Cultivos de Coca Consolidadas por Municipio (Bogotá: DNE, site visited October 2003) <http://www.cultivosilicitoscolombia.gov.co/aux_estadisticas1.htm>.

[23] ibid.

[24] United States, White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Pulse Check: Trends in Drug Abuse (Washington: ONDCP, March 2001) <http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/drugfact/pulsechk/midyear2000/index.html>.

[25] United States, White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Pulse Check: Trends in Drug Abuse (Washington: ONDCP, November 2002) <http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/drugfact/pulsechk/nov02/index.html>.

[26] Center for International Policy, interviews with community leaders in Putumayo, Colombia, March 2001.

[27] Center for International Policy, interviews with community leaders from Putumayo, Colombia and Sucumbíos, Ecuador, September 2003.

[28] Colombian Commission of Jurists, “Panorama de violaciones a los derechos humanos y al derecho humanitario en Colombia abril a septiembre del 2000” (Bogotá: CCJ, October 2000) <http://ciponline.org/colombia/040001.htm>.

[29] Colombian Commission of Jurists, “Alerta Frente a las Cifras Gubernamentales Sobre Derechos Humanos en Colombia” (Bogotá: CCJ, July 2003) <http://ciponline.org/colombia/030709ccj.htm>.

[30] United States, Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2002 (Washington: Department of State, March 31, 2003) <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/18325.htm>.

United Nations, High Commissioner for Human Rights, Informe Anual del Alto Comisionado sobre DDHH en Colombia (Geneva: UNHCHR, February 24, 2003) <http://www.hchr.org.co/documentoseinformes/informes/altocomisionado/informe2002.html>.

Human Rights Watch, World Report 2003 (New York: HRW, January 2003) <http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/americas4.html>.

Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2003 (London, AI, 2003) <http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/col-summary-eng>.

[31] CINEP and Justicia y Paz, Banco de Datos sobre Derechos Humanos y Violencia Política, Revista Noche y Niebla 27 (Bogotá: CINEP and Justicia y Paz, 2003) <http://www.nocheyniebla.org/27/index.html>.

[32] United States, Department of State, Memorandum of Justification Concerning Human Rights Conditions with Respect to Assistance for Colombian Armed Forces (Washington: Department of State, July 8, 2003) <http://ciponline.org/colombia/030708cert.htm>.

[33]ibid.

[34] ibid.

[35] United States, Department of State, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1995 (Washington: Department of State, March 1996) <http://www.usis.usemb.se/human/1995/west/colombia.html>.

[36] Government of Colombia, Dirección Nacional de Estupefacientes, Proyecto Sistema Integrado de Monitoreo de Cultivos Ilícitos -SIMCI- Estadisticas Cultivos de Coca Consolidadas por Municipio (Bogotá: DNE, site visited October 2003) <http://www.cultivosilicitoscolombia.gov.co/documentos/mapa_colombia_02.pdf>.

[37] Testimony of Adolfo Franco, assistant administrator, Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, US Agency for International Development, Hearing of the House International Relaions Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere (Washington: October 21, 2003) <http://wwwa.house.gov/international_relations/108/fran1021.htm>.

[38] Marcela Ceballos, CODHES, Plan Colombia: Contraproductos y Crisis Humanitaria (Bogotá: Consultancy for Human Rights and Internal Displacement, October 2003): 26 <http://www.codhes.org.co/Documentos/10/boletinfumigaciones.pdf>.

[39] “Indicadores económicos,” El Tiempo (Bogotá: October 28, 2003) <http://eltiempo.terra.com.co/>.

[40] Center for International Policy, interviews with community leaders from Putumayo, Colombia and Sucumbíos, Ecuador, September 2003.

[41] Government of Colombia, Transportation Ministry, Instituto Nacional de Vías, Estado de la Red Vial Nacional (Invías, June 2002) <http://www.invias.gov.co/programas/red_vial/red_vial.asp>.

[42] Ceballos 36.

[43] Government of Colombia, Departamento Nacional de Planeación, La economía Colombiana: del ajuste económico a la reactivación (Bogotá: DNP, 2002) <http://www.dnp.gov.co/ArchivosWeb/Direccion_General/Presentaciones/revista_cambio.ppt>.

[44] “Presupuesto defensa de Colombia de este año será de 3.600 millones de dólares,” EFE Spanish News Agency, February 20, 2003 <http://www.terra.com/actualidad/articulo/html/act134781.htm>. All currency conversions are based on 2,800 pesos to the dollar.

Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Report: Colombia (London: January 2003).

[45] United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2003 (New York: UNDP, 2003) <http://www.undp.org/hdr2003/>.

[46] ibid.

[47] Government of Colombia, Centro de Noticias del Estado, “Superadas Metas de Recaudo de Impuestos en el 2002,” January 20, 2003 <http://www.presidencia.gov.co/cne/2003/enero/20/08202003.htm>.

[48] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Revenue Statistics 1965-2001 (Paris: OECD, 2002) <http://www.oecdwash.org/DATA/STATS/taxrevenue.pdf>.

[49] Gabriel Marcella, The United States and Colombia: “The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity,” The Dante B. Fascell North-South Center Working Paper Series 13 (Miami: University of Miami, March 2003): 10 <http://www.miami.edu/nsc/publications/pubs-WP-pdf/WP13.pdf>.

[50] Marcella 25.

[51] Marcella 8.

[52] Marcella 25.

[53] From numerous sources cited at http://ciponline.org/colombia/aidtable.htm. Includes estimates for 2003.

“Presupuesto defensa de Colombia de este año será de 3.600 millones de dólares.”

[54] Richard A. Haggarty (ed.), El Salvador: A Country Study (Washington: Library of Congress, November 1988) <http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/svtoc.html>.

United States, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1995 (Washington: ACDA, 1996): 72.

[55] United States, White House, Presidential Letter to U.S. Congress (Washington: June 24, 2002) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/07/20020703-14.html>.

[56] United States, White House, Presidential Letter to U.S. Congress (Washington: June 20, 2003) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/06/20030620-22.html>.

[57] Barr 9.

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