Crime & Justice

Colombia and US agree on roadmap for a new drug policy

Bogotá, Sept. 26 (EFE) – The governments of Colombia and the United States concluded Tuesday the third anti-drug cooperation meeting, which ended with a roadmap to implement a new policy between 2023 and 2033.

The agreement is summarized in the government’s National Policy against Drug Trafficking 2023-2033 “Sowing Life, We Banish Drug Trafficking”, reported the Colombian Foreign Ministry.

According to the statement issued at the end of the meeting, “joint commitments were made to outline the path towards a more dynamic US-Colombia counternarcotics relationship to address drug-related challenges.”

Among other things, they agreed to increase interdiction efforts in both countries, joint training, capacity-building activities, and intelligence sharing to strengthen Colombia’s ability to combat transnational organized crime and multi-criminal groups.

They also agreed to expand efforts to combat money laundering and crimes against natural resources and the environment, reaffirm cooperation to combat the global drug problem, and strengthen and increase judicial and police presence in rural areas.

It also aims to strengthen economic alternatives to illicit crops in rural areas and areas of special environmental importance, and to provide opportunities for economic development.

They also stated that both governments “will continue to work on intergovernmental cooperation in the fight against drug-related problems to promote and consolidate an approach based on public health.”

At the meeting on September 25 and 26, the delegations continued the work of the Tenth High-Level Dialogue (HLD), which was held in Washington from March 27 to 28.

The Colombian government delegation was led by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Coy, Vice Minister of Justice Camilo Umaña, and Vice Minister of Defense and Security Policy Alberto Lara.

The US government delegation was led by Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Adam W. Cohen and Ambassador Todd D. Robinson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

“We continue to expand our counternarcotics activities, and I’m very hopeful, and I’m going to say that in Washington,” Cohen said.

Meanwhile, Coy highlighted Colombia’s “holistic view of the problems associated with drugs,” which leads to “proposing innovative and creative solutions that allow for better results” compared to what has been demonstrated in recent decades.

The working group is part of the High Level Dialogue between the United States and Colombia, the main mechanism for bilateral relations and the highest political level to institutionalize and diversify the agenda of both countries. EFE


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