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Last Updated:7/7/05
Speech by Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana), June 28, 2005

   Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Souder).

   (Mr. SOUDER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Chairman, first, let me make a couple of points clear. This amendment does not save a dime. It merely transfers money from counternarcotics efforts to other efforts. Those Members who act like it saves money are wrong.

   Secondly, it is about kids and families in America. It is not about contractors; it is about the cocaine on our streets and what is the best way to deal with it.

   Look, this is a tough problem. I am not going to admit that it is not a tough problem. Rape is a tough problem. Child abuse is a tough problem. Spouse abuse is a tough problem, but we do not say let us give up efforts; let us give in because we have not seen a drop in spouse abuse or child abuse; why do we not just surrender and give the fight up.

   Our problem is difficult here. This is a map of Colombia. If you look at the map, the reason you hear passing statistics going on here is because basically our policies have pushed the narcoterrorists out into the jungle, instead of on the streets of Bogota where they are assassinating elected officials, terrorizing individuals, as reported in Garcia Marquez's book, ``Diary of a Kidnapping.'' We have pushed them into the jungle, so we have seen a tremendous drop in kidnappings and a tremendous drop in murders and blockades and all other types of things in the populist areas of this part of the country.

   The fact is that now for the first time in modern history, every single city and town in this country has an elected official because he is not worried about being murdered.

   I am all for alternative development. Alternative development, however, first requires you to get the guy from the FARC and the ultraparamilitary rightist groups away from them with a machine gun saying, plant palm heart and I will kill you. As you talk to the individuals, you can offer all of the incentives you want; but, quite frankly, they can make more money in coca. And as long as they are being terrorized and as long as they think they can make the money in coca and the terrorists think they can make money in coca, they are not going to let them do alternative development.

   So we have to get control of the land. Just like in Afghanistan with heroin, it is fine for us to talk about alternative problems; but until you eradicate the heroin, it does not do any good to talk to them about planting a crop that will yield only about one-fifth the amount.

   Now, I want to put a couple of other charts up here to show Members the depth of this problem. This is the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic. In this map from southwest Colombia in the eastern Pacific, you see the main trafficking routes. This is a Caribbean route, basically, going over to Yucatan.

   The reason that is important is if you look at this map, the area we are trying to patrol in the eastern Pacific is basically as big as the continental United States. That does not even count the Caribbean.

   Now, facts are stubborn things. In 1993, we cut 75 percent of the interdiction budget. What we saw was cocaine and heroin pour in from Colombia in that region to the point where after basically 10 years of effort, we have steadily reduced it back to where we were. It jumped 50 percent in 12 months when we cut the budget. We are now gradually working our way back down and trying to restabilize.

   Let me conclude with this. This is not a Colombian problem; it is our problem. It is our addictions and Europe's addictions that have terrorized this 200-year-old democracy. Because we have not licked drug abuse in America, they have had 30,000 police killed. President Clinton, while initially he had bad policies in his administration, he is the one who came up with the Andean Counterdrug Initiative and came up with the Colombian Initiative, working with this Congress, because he realized it did not work to cut back.

[Page: H5316]

   It was terrorizing a legitimate democracy. An economy that has coffee, emeralds, oil, flowers, that had a flourishing middle class, that is an example of a country that fights for itself, where their police are dying. Unlike what it has taken in Afghanistan and Iraq to rebuild a police force, they had a police force. What they needed was helicopters, bullets, and communications systems. They needed help with their legal system and alternative development. They needed help with building roads into some of the rural areas where they had fled to. We provided that help to the Colombians.

   This is a model of what we are trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan; but it shows that when the terrorists can get drug money, whether it be in Afghanistan or Colombia, they are a threat to the stability, to the law and order, and to the people who want to follow the law. We need to stand behind them because it is our habit that has caused the problem.

As of July 7, 2005 this page was also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r109:FLD001:H05308

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