Cocaine production in Colombia, the world’s leading cocaine exporter, has increased “five-fold” following the 2016 peace agreement the State Department helped broker between President Juan Manuel Santos’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official.
“The peace agreement in Colombia set the stage for a new era in that political dynamic, but it also meant we’ve seen a five-fold increase in cocaine production in the Andes [Mountains]. That’s a huge challenge, not only for the U.S., which is still the main destination, but for our European partners and others around the world,” the DHS official said at the International Summit on Borders in Washington this week. The event organizer did not allow reporters to identify speakers.
Through early to mid-2016, the State Department assisted the South American country’s FARC group and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Havana, Cuba, as they worked to conclude four years of negotiations and strike a deal to end the 50-year guerrilla war.
The war left more than 220,000 people dead and displaced 5 million others from their homes.
Read more at the Washington Examiner.