Colombia will send a diplomatic mission to Washington in February to
try to save Plan Colombia, the multi-billion dollar U.S. program to
fight the cultivation of coca and illegal armed groups in Colombia, the United
States staunchest ally in South America.
In an interview with newspaper El Tiempo, Colombia’s Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos Plan Colombia had already seen a US$160 million cut and other mayor cuts are currently being proposed.
“In February we will go to Congress in Washington to defend this money. Let us not forget that Plan Colombia was conceived under a Democratic government,” explaining he was not to worried the change from a Republican to a Democratic government would be harmful for Colombia’s war on leftist guerrillas and the production on cocaine.
Santos downplayed the importance of Plan Colombia though, saying U.S. money only made up five percent of Colombia’s budget to fight the gurrillas and coca cultivation.
Plan Colombia was signed under the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Colombian President Andres Pastrana. So far the U.S. spent US$6 billionon the joint operation.