Pubdate: Thu, 21 Mar 2002
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Address: 200 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281
Contact:  2002 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fax: (212) 416-2658	
Author: Jim Vandehei
Note: Marc Lifsher in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this article


WASHINGTON -- President Bush will highlight two lesser-known targets of the 
war on terrorism when he travels to Latin America this weekend: poverty and 
drug lords.

Starting Thursday in Monterrey, Mexico, Mr. Bush will tout his plan to 
boost U.S. foreign aid, partly as a way to dissuade nations from harboring 
terrorists. At the United Nations International Conference on Financing for 
Development, he will call for what amounts to a competition among 
developing nations for U.S. aid; winners will be picked based on their 
ability to adopt economic reforms and to end corruption.

See full coverage of the Aftermath of Terror.

"In countries where there are not good policies, and where there is 
hopelessness, and where there is poverty, you can create conditions of the 
kind that you had in Afghanistan, where these parasites can latch on," 
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday.

Still, many world leaders have criticized Mr. Bush's plan as inadequately 
funded and needlessly restrictive.

Mr. Bush had hoped to bring with him to Mexico a new law granting amnesty 
to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants working in the U.S. But 
Senate Democrats are blocking the legislation.

In Lima, Peru, the second stop on his three-nation trip, Mr. Bush will talk 
about how the war against terrorism must include efforts to crack down on 
the booming drug trade in the Andean region. Mr. Bush, who will become the 
first sitting U.S. president to visit Peru, will argue that countries 
equipped to fight the drug trade will be better prepared to go after 
terrorists. This fits into Mr. Bush's broader plan of targeting specific 
groups that help fund or protect terrorists, aides said.

Mr. Bush plans to ask Congress on Thursday to lift restrictions on U.S. 
funding for Colombia's military, aides said. That would free up 
U.S.-trained forces to go after the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of 
Colombia, which the administration labels a terrorist organization. "We 
expect [Colombia] to fight all renegade and terrorist groups," Mr. Bush 
said. "We have no interest in committing ground troops, but we do want to 
help them, and we'll do so."

Peru has experienced a resurgence of terrorist activity by groups involved 
in the drug trade.

Mr. Bush, however, won't call for resuming the program that allowed Andean 
nations to shoot down suspected narcotics-smuggling planes that refuse 
repeated orders to land. The program, which Andean leaders want restored, 
was halted last year after a Peruvian fighter mistakenly shot down a small 
plane carrying U.S. missionaries, killing a mother and her child.

The heads of four Andean Community nations -- Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and 
Bolivia -- also are chagrined that Mr. Bush won't be bringing with him an 
expanded Andean Trade Preferences Act. The trade bill, first passed in 
1991, reduces or eliminates import duties to help South American 
drug-producing countries boost employment in legal industrial goods and 
industrial commodities. The U.S. law was temporarily renewed for 90 days in 

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.) will try to force a vote 
Thursday on legislation expanding trade with Andean nations.
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