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Last Updated:7/14/00
Statement by Barry McCaffrey, director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, July 13, 2000
COLOMBIA/ANDEAN REGION COUNTERDRUG
ASSISTANCE PACKAGE PROVIDES TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
AGAINST ILLEGAL DRUGS

Washington, D.C. -- Barry R. McCaffrey, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, issued the following statement after President Clinton signed into law the Military Construction Appropriations bill containing the $1.319 billion Colombia/Andean Region counterdrug assistance:

The counterdrug assistance package for Colombia and other countries in the region just signed by President Clinton provides the needed tools for continued success against drug production and trafficking in this hemisphere. Hemispheric programs aimed at reducing the supply of drugs before they reach the United States have resulted in an 18 percent drop in the amount of cocaine available worldwide over the last 4 years. That progress and our national interests are at risk in the face of the 140 percent increase in Colombian coca production since 1995.

This coherent, long-term plan will help the Government of Colombia respond to the drug emergency and support its democratic institutions. In addition to the critical training and mobility for the Colombian police and armed forces, this package provides $48.5 million for support for human rights programs and security for human rights workers, $65.5 million for administration of justice programs, and $199 million for alternative economic development programs throughout the region. As a result of the July 7 donors conference in Madrid, the social and alternative economic development elements of the plan will also be supported by $621 million from other donor nations and international organizations. The U.S. package also provides nearly $117 million for the establishment of U.S. Forward Operating Locations to assist in regional drug air interdiction efforts.

We are appreciative of President Clinton's leadership on this critical counterdrug issue, and we thank our colleagues throughout the Administration, and Members of Congress from both the House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, for their interest and support for making this assistance package a reality. Hard work lies ahead for the United States and our regional allies to ensure successful implementation of the strategy, with the ultimate goal of keeping illegal drugs off our streets and away from our families.

This initiative provides critical support to the other elements of our National Drug Control Strategy, including the nearly $6 billion spent on demand reduction and treatment programs and the $9 billion spent on domestic law enforcement, because it will help to cut the supply of cocaine and heroin coming into the United States. Providing this assistance package serves our national interest and supports Colombian President Pastrana's efforts to bring peace and stability to his country.

As of July 14, 2000, this document was also available online at http://usinfo.state.gov/admin/011/lef401.htm

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