Brazil and Colombia pledge to fight drug trafficking

Article originally appeared in ReutersDefense ministers from Brazil and Colombia agreed to step up their fight against drug traffickers at a meeting on Tuesday in the Brazilian city of Manaus, where feuding drug gangs set off a recent string of deadly prison riots.

The countries promised to share intelligence and transportation along a porous 1,000-mile (1,600 km) border cutting through the Amazon rainforest, where they have struggled to slow the flow of drugs in recent years.

Demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as part of a deal ending more than 50 years of war has raised concerns that heavily armed former combatants could join with increasingly powerful drug gangs in Brazil. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

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