of James Mack, Deputy Asst. Secretary of State for INL, June 28, 2001
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
JUNE 28, 2001
RELATIONS COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
Good morning, Mr.
Chairman, members of the committee. I am pleased to be here today to discuss
with you the status of Plan Colombia and to describe for you the Department
of, State's programs envisioned under the Administration's proposed Andean
Regional Initiative, or ARI.
First, I'd like to
provide you background on the origin of the President's Initiative. In
July 2000, Congress approved a $1.3 billion supplemental appropriation
to carry out enhanced counternarcotics activities in the Andean region.
Of that amount, approximately $1 billion in Function 150 funding through
the State Department was the U.S. contribution to what has become known
as Plan Colombia, a comprehensive, integrated, Colombian action plan to
address Colombia's complex and interrelated problems. The initial two-year
phase of Plan Colombia focused on the southern part of the country. It
began with an intensive counternarcotics push into southern Colombia,
along with the expansion of programs aimed at social action and institutional
strengthening, and alternative development. Plan Colombia is now well
underway and showing good results. In addition to stemming the flow of
narcotics entering the U.S., our assistance is intended to support institutional
and judicial reform, as well as economic advancement, in one of this hemisphere's
Members of Congress,
the NGO community, and other interested observers had previously expressed
concerns regarding aspects of U.S. government support to Plan Colombia.
Those concerns focused particularly on three areas: that we did not consult
widely enough in putting together our support package; that we focused
too much on security and law enforcement, and not enough on development
and institutional reform; and that our assistance was too heavily oriented
toward Colombia as compared to the rest of the region.
The Bush Administration
has taken to heart those concerns in formulating the President's proposed
Andean Regional Initiative (ARI). ARI is the product of extensive consultations
with the staffs of committees and Members of Congress, with the governments
of the region, and with other potential donor countries and international
financial institutions. ARI addresses the three issues that lie at the
heart of the challenges facing the region: democracy, development, and
drugs. ARI balances the need to address the continuing challenges in Colombia
with the competing priority of working with the rest of the region to
prevent a further spreading of Colombia's problems or backsliding in areas
where progress already has been made.
The President has
proposed $882 million in Function 150 programs for the ARI. $731 million
of the $882 million in ARI is for the Department's Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) .funding of the Andean Counterdrug
Initiative (ACI). The ARI also includes funding for relevant Economic
Support Funds (ESF), Developmental Assistance (DA), and Child Survival
and Disease (CSD) programs, plus a small amount of Foreign Military Financing
(FMF). The ARI covers programs in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and
Venezuela, and those areas and programs in Panama and Brazil most affected
by the region's problems and those where our assistance can best make
a difference. In addition to being balanced geographically, our budget
will likewise be balanced programmatically. About 50 percent of the ARI
budget will be devoted to programs focused on development and support
for democratic institutions. Integral to ARI as well are the economic
development and job creation afforded by expanded trade opportunities.
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) can help the entire region
through increased investment and job creation. More immediately, renewal
and enhancement of the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) can provide
real alternatives to drug production and trafficking for farmers and workers
desperate for the means to support their families.
Our support to Plan
Colombia was the first step in responding to the crisis underway in Colombia.
The Andean Regional Initiative is the next stage of along-tern effort
to address the threat of narcotics and the underlying causes of the narcotics
industry and violence in Colombia, while assisting Colombia's neighbors
to ward off those same dangers in their own countries. Their success is
vital to our own national interests in promoting the spread of strong
democratic institutions, the enhancement of trade and investment opportunities
for U.S. businesses and workers, and the reduction of narcotics production
and trafficking that threaten our society.
My USAID colleague
will describe in detail the status of our alternative development projects.
However, I want to point out that alternative development is an integral
part of our plan for weeding out illicit coca and poppy cultivation in
the Andes. We have had large alternative development programs in Bolivia
and Peru for many years, and they have been quite successful, combining
with aggressive eradication and interdiction programs to produce significant
declines in the coca crops of those countries. Colombia is trying to replicate
that success in Plan Colombia, combining a substantially expanded alternative
development program with aerial eradication and interdiction activities
in southern Colombia, currently the largest concentration of coca cultivation
in the world.
I am pleased to report
that the Department is moving quickly to implement our support to Plan
Colombia. Below, I will discuss delivery of helicopters, aerial spray
aircraft, and other equipment, which is proceeding smoothly. I will also
describe our support for the Colombian government's aerial spraying program.
I'd then like to
discuss the proposal we have submitted in our FY 2002 budget request for
INL's $731 million Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI), as part of the
larger $882 million ARI. This initiative addresses holistically -- providing
assistance for social and economic development as well as for counternarcotics
and security efforts -- the narcotics scourge throughout the Andean region.
We are hopeful that this macro-approach will eliminate the "balloon
effect" which we observe when programs are developed country by country.
Finally, I will note
our support for the ATPA.
STATUS OF SPENDING
ON PLAN COLOMBIA
In less than one
year, the Department has "committed" approximately 75 percent
of the $1.018 billion two-year Plan Colombia Supplemental. By "committed,"
we mean that we have contracted for equipment or services, signed reimbursable
agreements with other agencies or bureaus within the Department, and contributed
to the U.N. Taken together, these "commitments" total more than
$760 million of the Supplemental.
is finalizing the Congressionally-mandated bi-annual report on the Supplemental.
STATUS OF EQUIPMENT
Turning now to our
equipment deliveries, I can say that they have proceeded smoothly, generally
adhering to the anticipated schedules. Some have even been accelerated
from their original estimates. As of June 22, 2001, the status of UH-60,
UH-1N, Huey-II and spray planes is as follows:
COLAR and CNP Black
Hawks: A contract was signed with Sikorsky on December 15th for fourteen
Black Hawks for the Colombian Army (COLAR) and two helicopters for the
Colombian National Police (CNP). Specifications for the aircraft configuration
were based on SOUTHCOM recommendations with input from respective Colombian
organizations. Arrangements are being made for next month's delivery of
the two CNP aircraft and the first COLAR aircraft. Remaining deliveries
will be made in increments through December of this year. The contract
includes one year of contractor logistics support (CLS). We expect to
extend this contract pending availability of FY 2002 funding.
COLAR UH-1Ns: The
UH-1Ns supplied to Colombia earlier continue to provide air mobility support
to the troops of the Counterdrug Brigade.
CNP Huey-IIs: INL
and the CNP agreed to use the $20.6 million CNP Huey-II and $5 million
CNP aircraft upgrade budget lines from the Supplemental to modify nine
additional aircraft to desired specifications and retrofit twenty-two
of the earlier produced Huey-IIs to include additional options, such as
floor armor and passive infrared (IR) countermeasures. A delivery order
has been issued for four modifications to be accomplished by U.S. Helicopter
(completion expected approximately August/September), and the other five
modifications will be done by CNP in-country with kits furnished by INL.
(Note: Twenty-Five Huey-II helicopters have been delivered to the CNP
from previous FY 1998 and FY 1999 funding).
COLAR Huey-IIs: SOUTHCOM
presented their recommendations on the configuration of the COLAR Huey-IIs
on February 22nd. An interagency team then selected a configuration that
includes a passive IR engine exhaust system, floor armor, M60D door guns,
secure radios, and a radar altimeter, along with other standard equipment.
We estimate that twenty-five Huey-IIs modified to this standard, along
with individual crew equipment (NV Gs, survival vests, helmets, etc.)
and some spares will be possible within the $60 million line item of the
Supplemental Appropriation. We have established a contract delivery order
for the accomplishment of the initial 20 modifications, with options for
additional aircraft. Work is in progress on these aircraft and we believe
that aircraft deliveries to Colombia can begin by approximately January
Spray Planes: Three aircraft are currently undergoing refurbishment/modification
at Patrick Air Force Base and are expected to be completed in August of
Turbo-Thrush Spray Planes: A contract is in place for nine additional
agricultural spray planes. The first aircraft should be delivered in August,
with the balance phased in through February 2002.
aerial spray operations began on December 19, 2000 in the southern department
of Caqueta and moved into neighboring Putumayo on December 22. Operations
later shifted to the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Some allege that
the glyphosate used in the spray program results in health side-effects
to exposed populations. First, let me stress that glyphosate is one of
the least harmful herbicides available on the world market. Glyphosate
has been the subject of an exhaustive body of scientific literature which
has shown that it is not a health risk to humans, and is extremely environment-friendly.
It is used throughout the United States and over 100 other countries and
has been rigorously tested for safety for animals and humans. Nonetheless,
we feel compelled to probe assertions that it is making people sick. At
the request of Congress, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, with assistance from
our regional EPA representative in Embassy Lima, is sponsoring two studies
on the issue. The first dealt with the individuals who reported reactions
to the spraying. The final report is not yet complete but the physicians
who reviewed those cases found them to be inconsistent with glyphosate
exposure. In fact, many of the cases were reported prior to any exposure
from the spray program. The second study is getting underway and will
compare populations before and after their areas are sprayed to see if
any differences could be attributable to spraying. The Center for Disease
Control is assisting in designing an appropriate sampling methodology
for this study
The timing of spray
operations in Putumayo was based on a number of factors. Some were operational
concerns, such as seasonal weather conditions. The timing of operations
was also meant to discourage the return of an itinerant labor pool (coca
leaf pickers or "raspachines") who generally spend the December
holidays at their homes in other parts of the country. Importantly, the
timing also corresponded with efforts to recruit communities to enroll
in development programs. While the intent of the Colombian government
to conduct eradication in southern Colombia was well publicized, coca
growing communities in the region initially showed little interest in
participating in development programs, preferring instead to continue
their illicit activity. Only after those initial spray efforts in Putumayo,
which demonstrated the government of Colombia's resolve to address the
growing problem of coca cultivation in the region, did these communities
express real interest in abandoning their illegal activities in exchange
for assistance. Funding was already in place for these programs at the
time spray operations began and, as each community signed up for the program,
the process began to tailor community-specific assistance packages.
Many safeguards are
built into the selection of spray targets and further improvements are
constantly being made to the system. And while the Department of State
does not select the spray locations, (those decisions are made by the
government of Colombia), the Department, through the Narcotics Affairs
Section (NAS) of U.S. Embassy Bogota, does consult on the selection and
supports the Colombian National Police (CNP) efforts.
According to Colombian
law, an Inter-Institutional Technical Committee (ITC) of Colombian government
officials determines what areas of the country may or may not be sprayed.
The CNP generates quarterly estimates of the illicit coca crop by flying
over coca growing regions on at least a quarterly basis to search for
new growth and to generate an estimate of the illicit coca crop. This
information is reviewed for accuracy by technical/environmental auditors
and is passed on to the ITC. The Directorate of Dangerous Drugs (DNE)
chairs the ITC, which includes representatives from the Anti-Narcotics
Police, Ministry of the Environment, the National Institute of Health,
the National Institute of Agriculture, the National Plan for Alternative
Development (PLANTE), regional environmental agencies, and technical/environmental
auditors. The CNP notifies the NAS Aviation Office of all decisions as
to which areas may not be sprayed. Spray operations are then coordinated
and conducted in approved areas only.
flights are conducted over areas identified by the CNP in their quarterly
coca crop estimates. With the use of SATLOC, an aircraft-mounted global
positioning system, these flights identify the precise geographical coordinates
where coca is being grown. Areas with large concentrations of coca are
then plotted, and a computer program sets up precise flight lines, calibrated
for the width of the spray swath of the spray plane to be used. Once the
government of Colombia has approved spraying in a given area, spray pilots
then fly down those prescribed flight lines and spray the coca located
Also, every effort
is made to protect legitimate farming operations from possible damage
from the aerial spray program. The spray aircraft apply glyphosate at
low altitude against predetermined fields, identified by earlier reconnaissance.
The planes carry computerized GPS monitoring equipment that records their
position and the use of the spray equipment. This system serves to verify
that glyphosate is being accurately applied to intended areas. After spraying,
combined U.S.-Colombian teams also visit randomly chosen fields, security
permitting, to verify that the treated plants were indeed coca. To further
aid in the identification of fields not subject to aerial eradication,
the government of Colombia is currently working to produce a comprehensive
digitized map indicating exempted areas.
government of Colombia maintains a system to compensate farmers for damages
caused by the program. Over the past few months, we have encouraged the
Colombian government to streamline the process and efforts have begun
to better educate the public about that option.
Recent field visits
encountered evidence that coca growers in southern Colombia are using
dangerous chemicals, such as paraquat. That is a concern to us as it presents
a very real risk to the people of the region. The traffickers' utter disregard
for human health and environmental security that pervades the illegal
drug industry goes beyond the obvious examples of poisoning millions of
drug consumers with their illegal products. It includes the clear cutting
of rain forest; the contamination of soil and watersheds with acids and
chemical salts; and the exposure of their workers and themselves to potentially
deadly chemicals all in the name of profit
For example, the
expansion of coca cultivation, production, and trafficking in Peru, Bolivia
and Colombia has resulted in the destruction of, at an absolute minimum,
2.4 million hectares of the fragile tropical forest in the Andean region
over the last 20 years. In addition, the very act of refining raw coca
leaves into finished cocaine creates significant environmental damage
because of the irresponsible disposal of large amounts of toxic chemicals
used in the process. A study conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) in 1993 of cocaine production in the Chapare region of Bolivia showed
that production of one kilo of cocaine base required the use of three
liters of concentrated sulfuric acid, ten kilos of lime, 60 to 80 liters
of kerosene, 200 grams of potassium permanganate, and one liter of concentrated
ammonia. Processors discard these poisonous waste products indiscriminately,
often dumping them into the nearest waterway, where the extent of damage
is greatly increased. They also may dump these chemicals on the ground,
where as point sources, they may infiltrate through the soil to groundwater.
A report from the National Agrarian University in Lima Peru estimated
that as much as 600 million liters of so-called precursor chemicals are
used annually in South America for cocaine production. This translates
to more than two metric tons of chemical waste generated for each hectare
of coca processed to produce cocaine.
concerns are another reason why we must continue in Our efforts to help
the governments of the Andean region in their ongoing struggle against
the narcotics industry.
INL'S PROPOSED ANDEAN
COUNTERDRUG INITIATIVE (ACI)
The Andean region
represents a significant challenge and opportunity for U.S. foreign policy
in the next few years. Important U.S. national interests are at stake.
Democracy is under pressure in all of the countries of the Andes. Economic
development is slow and progress towards liberalization is inconsistent.
The Andes produces virtually all of the world's cocaine, and an increasing
amount of heroin; thus representing a direct threat to our public health
and national security. All of these problems are inter-related. Sluggish
economies produce political unrest that threatens democracy and provides
ready manpower for narcotics traffickers and illegal armed groups. Weak
democratic institutions, corruption and political instability discourage
investment, contribute to slow economic growth and provide fertile ground
for drug traffickers and other outlaw groups to flourish. The drug trade
has a corrupting influence that undermines democratic institutions, fuels
illegal armed groups and distorts the economy, discouraging legitimate
investment. None of the region's problems can be addressed in isolation.
Of the $882 million
Andean Regional Initiative (ARI) request, $731 million is for INL's Andean
Counterdrug Initiative (ACI). Our goals in the Andes are to:
-- Promote and support
democracy and democratic institutions -- Foster sustainable economic development
and trade liberalization -- Significantly reduce the supply of illegal
drugs to the U.S. at the source
Just as Plan Colombia
represented an improved approach by considering drug trafficking as part
of Colombia's larger crisis, the Andean Counterdrug Initiative benefits
from its appreciation of the illegal drug industry as part of something
bigger. Drug trafficking is a problem that does not respect national borders
and that both feeds and feeds upon the other social and economic difficulties
with which the Andean region is struggling.
No nation in the
region is free of trafficking or the attendant ills of other crime forms
and corruption. To combat these ills, we propose a regional versus Colombia-centric
policy and a comprehensive and integrated package that brings together
democracy and development as well as drug initiatives.
For this reason,
we plan to allocate almost one-half of the requested $731 million for
this initiative to countries other than Colombia. In so doing, we intend
to bolster the successful efforts and tremendous progress we have made
in counternarcotics in countries such as Peru and Bolivia, while preventing
the further expansion of the drug trafficking problem into other countries
of the region., such as Brazil, Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador.
In addition to ensuring
regional balance, the ACI also spans all three of our stated goals counternarcotics,
economic development, and support for democratic institutions. The full
ARI budget of $882 million breaks into an approximately 50/50 split between
counternarcotics and alternative development/institution-building programs.
Its ACI component ($731 million) breaks into a 60140 (counternarcotics
vs. development/democracy) split. $293 million of the ACI budget will
be devoted to programs focused on alternative development and support
for democratic institutions.
All of Colombia's
neighbors are worried about the possibility of "spillover,"
specifically that the pressure applied by the government of Colombia (GOC)
in southern Colombia will result in the flight of refugees, guerrillas,
paramilitaries and/or narcotics traffickers across porous borders into
other countries. We will work with the countries of the region to strengthen
their capacity to cope with potential outflows. In Peru and Bolivia, we
will work with those governments to continue their reductions in coca
through a combination of eradication, interdiction, and alternative development.
In all countries, we will work to strengthen democracy and local institutions
in order to attack trafficking networks which move precursors, money,
fraudulent documents and people.
Since we believe
Plan Colombia will result in major disruption of the cocaine industry,
ACI's regional approach becomes even more of an imperative. Traffickers
will undoubtedly try to relocate as their operations in southern Colombia
are disrupted. We believe they will first try to migrate to other areas
inside Colombia, then try to return to traditional growing areas in Peru
and Bolivia. But if those options are forestalled, they may well seek
to move more cultivation, processing and/or trafficking routes into other
countries such as Ecuador, Brazil, or Venezuela.
The nations of the
region arc already heavily committed in all three of the major areas of
concern: democratization, economic development and counternarcotics. All
devote significant percentages of their annual budgets to these areas,
and are willing to work with us in the design and integration of successful
programs. Exact figures are impossible to come by, but the nations of
the region in total are committing billions of dollars to economic development,
democratization and counternarcotics efforts. For example, Ecuador has
established a Northern Border Initiative to promote better security and
development in the region bordering Colombia. Brazil has launched Operation
Cobra, a law enforcement effort concentrated in the Dog's Head region
bordering Colombia. Bolivia has been attacking drug production through
its Dignity Plan and is developing a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.
Colombia continues to pursue its commitments under Plan Colombia. Panama
has taken concrete steps to improve security and development in the Darien
region. The new Peruvian government has made reform of democratic institutions
a national priority, and continues to pursue aggressively the counternarcotics
missions. In Venezuela, local authorities have cooperated admirably on
drug interdiction, exemplified by last year's record multi-ton seizure
during Operation Orinoco.
Programs to provide
humanitarian relief for displaced persons, to help small farmers and low-level
coca workers find legitimate alternatives to the drug trade, and to strengthen
governance, the rule of law, and human rights will also be incorporated
into the ACI.
Renewal of the Andean
Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) is perhaps the single largest short-term
contribution to economic growth and prosperity in the Andes. By renewing
the Act and expanding its benefits, we can continue to provide economic
alternatives to narcotics trafficking in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
The Act has already succeeded in doing so without adverse economic impact
for the U.S. The original justification for the legislation still stands,
but it expires at the end of the year, and should clearly be renewed at
the earliest possible date. ATPA renewal would serve to strengthen the
credibility of democratically-elected governments in the region and provide
them with a clear demonstration of the benefits of continuing to cooperate
on counternarcotics. It would also halt a potentially crippling exodus
of U.S. industries that relocated to the region when ATPA was established.
I appreciate the
opportunity you have given fine to speak to you today, and I look forward
to responding to questions which members of the committee may have.
As of June 29, 2001,
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