Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva met Thursday with David Johnson, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement, in order to discuss changes to drug policy in the region.
“We concluded that we must adjust and adapt the overall strategy to meet the latest changes in the phenomenon,” said Silva in an official statement.
Silva said that the two discussed strategies to confront the increased use of submarines to smuggle cocaine outside of Colombia . It has been estimated that the sub-submersible vessels transport 30% of Colombia’s total cocaine exports.
The two also discussed increasing manual eradication of coca fields, instead of aerial or chemical eradication. The United Nations recently found that Colombia’s coca production dropped by 29% in 2008. The agency attributed the decrease to more widespread manual eradication efforts, even though Colombia failed to meet is coca eradication goals last year.
Silva previously met with Johnson in February.
The U.S. is planning to cut aid to Colombia by $55 million in the 2011 budget proposal.