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Source Countries and
Drug Transit Zones: Colombia

Quick Facts
Colombia extradited more than 164 traffickers from Colombia to the United States in 2007, including several kingpins from the North Valley Cartel, such as Luis Hernando Gomez-Bustamante, a.k.a. Rasguño. Source

Colombia is the source of over 90 percent of the cocaine entering the United States and a significant source of the heroin on American streets. The U.S. is working with the Government of Colombia to eradicate illegal crops and reduce the amount of drugs reaching American streets.

Plan Colombia, an initiative approved by Congress on July 13, 2000, is one of the largest and most comprehensive efforts by the U.S. to assist an ally in Latin America deal with a national drug emergency.

Since Plan Colombia legislation and funding were passed by the U.S. Congress, Colombia has gone from an almost “failed” state on the verge of becoming a narco-state, to a strong democratic nation with an improving economy and reduced levels of violence. This furthers the overarching U.S. objective of reducing the quantity of illegal drugs flowing into the United States.

This task is complicated by the internal conflict that exists within Colombia. Terrorist groups such as the FARC, the AUC, and the ELN battle for control of drug-producing areas and use the profits from the drug trade to undermine Colombian democracy and rule of law. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has countered this narco-terrorist threat by allowing willing groups to demobilize and by attacking those that do not, both directly and by targeting their economic base in the drug trade.

The Uribe administration has developed a national security strategy that emphasizes the importance of ensuring security for all citizens by establishing a consistent government presence and applying of the Rule of Law throughout all Colombia. Central to this goal has been the disrupting a drug trade that has funded terrorism, violence, and has created an environment of corruption. The political, military, economic, and counternarcotics landscape in Colombia has changed dramatically since 2000. For the first time in its history, the Colombian Government has established a police presence in each of the country's 1,099 municipalities. Increased security of roads and highways has allowed for greater freedom of movement for people and commerce, and contributed to impressive economic progress and the reduction of poverty. Since 2002, violence indicators have been reduced to their lowest levels in decades. Homicides have decreased by 40 percent, kidnappings by 83 percent, terrorist attacks by 76 percent, and attacks against the country's infrastructure by 60 percent.

Since Plan Colombia began in 2000, the U.S. Government has assisted Colombia with a comprehensive strategy to attack the growth and distribution of cocaine and heroin from Colombia. Eradication, interdiction and organizational attack have succeeded in creating the stability and security for alternative development, judicial reform, and the establishment of democratic institutions, effectively expanding the State's authority into areas previously controlled by criminal narco-terrorist groups.

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