Trump de­liv­ers shock re­buke to Colom­bia over co­caine surge

Manteca Bulletin - - Nation -

BO­GOTA, Colom­bia (AP) — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is threat­en­ing that he may de­cer­tify Colom­bia as a part­ner in the war against drugs un­less the South Amer­i­can na­tion re­verses a record surge in co­caine pro­duc­tion.

The shock re­buke for Wash­ing­ton’s staunch­est ally in Latin Amer­ica came Wed­nes­day in the White House’s an­nual des­ig­na­tion of na­tions it deems ma­jor drug-pro­duc­ing or drug-tran­sit zones.

Colom­bia, the source of 90 per­cent of the co­caine con­sumed in the U.S., has long been a fix­ture on the list, which was un­changed from last year. But not since the late 1990s, when con­tri­bu­tions from the Cali car­tel funded the cam­paign of Colom­bia’s thenPres­i­dent Ernesto Sam­per, has the coun­try’s com­mit­ment to fight­ing nar­cotics traf­fick­ing been called into ques­tion by Wash­ing­ton.

Twenty-two coun­tries were des­ig­nated by the U.S. as ma­jor drug tran­sit zones Wed­nes­day, and only Venezuela and Bo­livia were deemed once again not to be ful­fill­ing their in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions to com­bat drug pro­duc­tion and traf­fick­ing. The left­ist gov­ern­ments of both those na­tions are hos­tile to the U.S.

Yet, in a state­ment, Trump said he “se­ri­ously con­sid­ered” also de­cer­ti­fy­ing Colom­bia be­cause of the “ex­tra­or­di­nary” growth of coca cul­ti­va­tion and co­caine pro­duc­tion to record lev­els over the past year.

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