Colombia War On Drugs

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President Nixon declared the war on drugs on June 17th, 1971. The war on drugs has been defined as “a series of actions tending towards the prohibition of illegal drug trade.” This declaration has allowed for a variety of policies and legislative actions to be implemented over the past 45 years. One of the main actions taken by the United States has been the adoption of a multilateral military approach in combating the drug issue that continues to plague American societies. In 1999, President Clinton worked alongside Colombia’s President Pastrana Andrés to establish ‘Plan Colombia’, a military aid/intervention that ultimately targeted the source of drugs, coca crops, in hope of eradicating the ongoing societal drug issue in the United States…show more content…
Over the past 16 years, ‘Plan Colombia’ has been an ongoing process that’s constantly critiqued. The first goal of this initiative was to reduce the cultivation, processing, and distribution of illegal narcotics by 50 percent within six years of implementation. However, according to an October 2008 GAO report, this goal was not met. The GAO report highlights that from the years 2000 to 2006, the cultivation of opium poppy to produce heroin declined by 50 percent, however, the cultivation of coca increased by 15 percent and the production of cocaine increased by 4 percent. The second goal of this initiative was to improve overall security in Colombia through reclaiming the land that was conquered by illegal armed groups. As a result, the GAO concludes that Colombia has experienced improvement in regards to security through enhancing military and police operations that physically targeted these organized criminal enterprises and insurgent groups, in addition to targeting their finances. However, Colombia still has a long way ahead of them before the illegal armed groups stop being a threat to the government and become more of a law enforcement problem. The 2008 GAO report acknowledges that since 2000, the United States has provided $4.9 billion to Colombia as monetary assistance for their military and police…show more content…
However, despite the reliance on the food and agriculture sector, Colombia’s drug trade makes up 1 percent of the country’s GDP, and the cartels are estimated to export $10 billion annually. To put this into perspective, this means that the illegal drug trade roughly makes up a quarter of Colombia’s legal exports. Out of the $10 billion annually exported by the drug cartels, $4.6 billion of the profits were exports sent to the United States. According to a report released by Business Insider, about 90 percent of the cocaine used by American’s originate from Colombia. In addition, Colombian groups control the distribution of cocaine and heroin in the United States across 40 different cities, primarily located in the
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