NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

U.S. May Sink Deeper Into Colombian Drug War

November 14, 2000

U.S. taxpayers are already coughing up $1.3 billion over two years to support Colombia's campaign to halve the country's coca output by 2006. But experts expect even greater financial demands to be made, even as the conflict spreads to the borders of other Latin American countries and threatens to destabilize the region.

  • As Bogota gears up to lobby for even more U.S. money, Ecuador wants Washington to help boost development in border areas that could see a flood of Colombian refugees.
  • According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, the State Department has already acknowledged that "substantial funding" will be needed to support U.S. goals in Colombia.
  • Fearful that Colombia's conflict will spill over into their own countries, Panama, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador are all now beefing up border security.
  • Ecuador has already asked for another $300 million from Washington -- which, if granted, will encourage other countries to follow suit.

Colombia's drug wars have claimed 30,000 lives in the past decade alone.

Source: Suzanne Timmons, "The War on Coca: How Far Will the U.S. Go?" Business Week, November 20, 2000.


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