The United States spent more than US$4.6 billion dollars on Plan
Colombia so far, Colombian Defense Minister Freddy Padilla responded to
questions of Congress.
According to the Minister, the U.S. aid has helped Colombia reduce the production of coca to 50% of what it was when the two countries started Plan Colombia in 1999 and diminished the potential production of cocaine with 39%.
The U.S. has 71 soldiers stationed permanently in Colombia and another 268 members of the U.S. military are in Colombia for short periods of time, the Minister wrote. The U.S. is allowed to station 1,400 soldiers and civilians in the country.
Congress had asked the Minister and commander of the Armed Forcesto provide the figures tobe able to debate the expansion of U.S. troops in Colombia. The plan to allow Colombia’s North American ally to conduct international counternarcotis operations from Colombia led to criticism by other South American countries and increased tensions with neighbors Venezuela and Ecuador.