by Rep. Sam Farr (D-California), March 29, 2000
FARR of California. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, I understand
that the chairman is reserving a point of order, and what I wanted to
do is to explain my amendment and hope that we can work something out
in conference here.
This amendment earmarks existing
funding for alternative development in the UNDCP, the United Nations Drug
Control Program, for the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia.
The amendment enhances the
accountability of this money by requiring that the funding go through
USAID, be subject to congressional notification, and be monitored via
the regular reporting process.
The reason that it is important
that we put this money in is that, indeed, if we are going to eradicate
the crops, we have got to teach the camposinos how to grow something as
an alternative. Just going in and eradicating crops, it will reappear.
So what the UNDCP program has done is very effective and has an approval
record in Bolivia and Peru.
In this alternative, development
is essentially the ability to wean farmers off growing coca or opium poppy
and get them into a constructive alternative agricultural practice.
What also happens to the region
is they begin recovery from a drug culture to a legitimate private sector
agricultural economy in a rural country and in a rural area; and it allows,
essentially, what we have always been trying to promote is democratization,
essentially, of building of communities.
So what this amendment does
is it takes existing funds and earmarks those to those four countries
for the exact same purposes.
Just in closing, I would like
to sort of sum up what the UNDCP programs have done. They have had a 78
percent reduction in the hectares of illicit coca in Bolivia in the last
3 years, 78 percent in the last 3 years alone. In 2000, alternative development
crops occupy 100,000 hectares of land, an area 10 times greater than that
devoted to growing illicit coca.
So this is particularly important
as we move into Colombia, eradicate the crops, which is going to be done
by the Joint Military National Police and then move in behind them with
a program that has a proven track record of being able to work with the
camposinos to get them into these alternative programs.
As I said, the money is funded
through our United States Department of International Development, and
it is subject to notifying us on all aspects of it and keeping us informed
with progress reports.
So I would ask that we can
get this amendment and work the best we can to get these earmarks in.
I think it makes it a stronger bill. We have bipartisan support for this
Mr. Chairman, I am hoping
we can get assurance that we can look at this in the conference committee.
Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr.
Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FARR of California. I
yield to the gentleman from Florida.
Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr.
Chairman, certainly we, of course, intend to work with the gentleman.
We are concerned about the issue, as he is; and we will work with him.
This amendment is definitely subject to a point of order. But we understand
what he is trying to accomplish, and we will work with him.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173: