Colombia’s foreign minister said Tuesday that “anything could happen” to the alliance with the United States, a traditional ally of the South American country.
At a meeting with journalists, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said the US and neighbor Venezuela were the two “great uncertainties” of the moment.
In the case of the US, the minister referred to the traditional ally’s harsh stance on coca, which has boomed in the years ahead of a peace deal with Marxist guerrilla group FARC.
“We know what the new government is like and what has happened with Mexico. Anything could happen here,” Holguin was quoted as saying by Caracol Radio.
The minister subsequently moved the government’s deadline to remove 100,000 hectares of coca, the base ingredient of cocaine, five months forward to May.
When one says why eradication, why it is not achieved, why it takes so long, they do not see the difficulties that this country has. This is not in a flat territory, this is in the mountains, where legal meets illegal, that is the great challenge we have.
Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin
The administration of US President Donald Trump has threatened to decertify Colombia as a country that is cooperative with the 46-year-long “War on Drugs.”
According to the US’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 95% of the cocaine consumed by approximately 1.9 million Americans comes from Colombia.
At the advise by the United Nations, the South American country has promised to substitute coca crops for legal crops like cocoa and coffee.
The administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, however, has failed to create budgets for this program and has allegedly failed to receive foreign aid for financing.
Pursuing forced eradication, the strategy preferred by Washington DC, has spurred outbreaks of violence that have killed at least 10 people over the past few months.