Trump delivers shock rebuke to Colombia over cocaine surge

From the Washington PostBOGOTA, Colombia — 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 then-President Ernesto Samper, has the country’s commitment to fighting narcotics trafficking been called into question by Washington. …

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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.

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