The Colombian government has initiated the process of assuming the costs of Plan Colombia, following a reduction of U.S. financial assistance, reports El Espectador.
As of April of this year, the costs of spraying operations and the purchase of glyphosate, key methods in Plan Colombia’s battle against cocaine cultivation, will now be financed by the Colombia’s national budget.
National Police chief General Oscar Naranjo highlighted the important progress over the last three years and noted that the US remains committed to the eradication of the drug supply and will continue to provide aid to Colombia.
“At this time, without triumphalism and based on incontrovertible facts, the reductions in the country’s drug supply have resulted in the lowest recorded number of hectares planted with coca bushes in the last 14 years,” he said.
Plan Colombia was officially unveiled in 1999, under the initiative of former President Andres Pastrana.
Over the years the US has provided $8 billion in aid to help combat the cultivation of cocaine and narcotrafficking in Colombia, resulting in a 58 percent reduction in coca production.
Plan Colombia, however, has invited criticism from various sources such as Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who claims that cultivation has largely been redistributed to his country, rather than being diminished.