In his yearly designation of all the major drug producing and trafficking nations, President Trump has broken with years of precedent, condemning Colombia for its lack of effort when it comes to anti-narcotics agreements. This move has put America at risk of complications when it comes to future cooperation with the Colombia, one of the US’s closest Latin American allies against drugs.
In a memorandum dated September 13th delivered by the president to his Secretary of State, Trump stated that there had been serious consideration made by his administration as to whether Colombia should be designated as a nation which has failed to meet its obligations as per the internation agreements made against narcotics, citing a huge growth in cocaine production and coca cultivation which has been noted in the country over the last few years.
His decision against decertifying the counternarcotics efforts made by Colombia was apparently made on the grounds that the Columbian Armed Forces and National Police are close partners with the USA in terms of law enforcement and the security services in Colombia are now beginning to improve their interdiction efforts. However, he pointed out that he would still keep designation as a potential future option if Colombia fails to make progress to reduce the amount of cocaine produced and coca which is cultivated.
While it is true that there has been more cocaine produced recently in Colombia than in the past, the idea that the security services in Colombia are failing to put in enough effort to tackle the trade in drugs lacks any supporting evidence, and it is precisely comments such as these which risk damaging the cooperation between America and its key partners against drugs, making it harder than ever for the USA to tackle the domestic epidemic of drug abuse which has resulted in criminal violence across the region.