Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, November 16, 2004

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Colombian Drug Trafficking
Hearing to examine Europe’s role and
progress in fighting narco-terrorism

 

BACKGROUND: In light of new drug trafficking trends, it is clear that trafficking of Colombian narcotics is no longer just a U.S. problem. Drug shipments to Europe from Colombia, especially cocaine, are on the rise. The level of counternarcotics support from Europe to fight this trend, however, has yet to match what was pledged in 2000 when Plan Colombia was inaugurated, an effort by the United States and Colombian governments to fight drug trafficking and terrorism. To date, more than 90 percent of all security assistance to Colombia is provided by the United States. Although Europe is reluctant to provide Colombia with military aid, assistance was pledged to provide funding for the “soft side” of Plan Colombia, including support for alternative crop programs, displaced persons projects, resettlement of demobilized guerillas, the opening of new export markets and other economic development programs. Stopping the flow of illegal drugs is in the collective interest of both hemispheres. Without the pledged support from Europe, however, these programs cannot reach the scope required to have effective long-term success. 

WHAT: Subcommittee Hearing: Aid to Colombia—The European Role in the Fight Against Narco-terrorism

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, U.S. Rep. Cass Ballenger, Chairman

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Thursday, November 18, 2004

WHERE: Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES: Panel I: Robert Charles, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement; Adolfo Franco, Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean, USAID; Panel II: Sandro Calvani, Representative, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Bogotá, Colombia; Rosso Jose Serrano, Colombian Ambassador to Austria and UN Organizations (Invited); and Michael Shifter, Vice President for Policy, Inter-American Dialogue.  

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