EL ESPECTADOR, February 16, 2023

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Todd Robinson, a United States diplomat, stated that at the beginning of 2023, production and distribution of cocaine has increased.

The Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the State Department of the United States, Todd D. Robinson, emphasized the U.S. concern about the increase in the registry of deaths caused by overdoses of cocaine in the country. That statement by a high official of the Biden administration took place in an interview by Noticias Caracol last February 16, where he stressed that the Department remains in contact with the Gustavo Petro administration.

“We are always concerned about the quantity of cocaine that is entering the United States. I believe that is something where we have to negotiate with his administration. It’s evident that his administration has its ideas about eradication; they have told us they won’t do anything without negotiations, without talking about the issue. We will keep on working. We still have an eradication plan,” said Robinson.

“As we have said before, we will continue to ask for extradition and negotiating with Colombia,” stated the diplomat. Colombia produces around 90% of the cocaine powder that reaches the United States. Most of the cocaine that enters the United States comes through México,” said Robinson, referring to the 2022 report of the Drug Control Administration (DEA).

The most recent report by the Integrated System for Monitoring Illegal Crops (SIMCI in Spanish) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) concludes that illegal crops in Colombia increased by nearly 43%, growing from 143,000 hectares in 2020 to 204,000 in 2021. These figures were furnished by that agency in its most recent report, furnished in the third quarter of 2022.

However, the President of Colombia has said that he would stand firm in not adopting the traditional measures of eradication. “Why do we have to accept unquestioningly a failed policy that is killing us? Why can’t we think of other alternatives? Somebody says, No, the President of Colombia wants everybody to use drugs, No, somebody even says the consumption of cocaine could reach 0 if we would apply a forceful policy of prevention and repression. But, what if consumption of psychoactive substances were decriminalized and their consumption were managed as what it is, as a social disease,” the President has said.

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