Pubdate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Kevin Healy


The Feb. 15 editorial "Success in Colombia" focused almost entirely 
on counterinsurgency success against the Revolutionary Armed Forces 
of Colombia (FARC) and thus was another sad example of willful 
amnesia about U.S. drug control policy impacts abroad.

Ignored by the editorial were the equally important counternarcotics 
goals and impacts of Plan Colombia. After 15 years and almost $10 
billion in U.S. aid, the question needs to be asked if U.S. taxpayers 
received their money's worth from this investment in the largest drug 
control program in the annals of the war on drugs in the Western 
Hemisphere. Today, Colombian cocaine production is increasing. 
Moreover, Colombia is a major source of heroin in the United States' 
national epidemic, with Maryland a sad case in point.

Also sadly missing from the editorial was a mention of the negative 
effects of Plan Colombia on human, social and environmental rights 
and democratic institutions throughout the country, especially under 
the Uribe administration. Obscuring policies and ignoring their 
impacts and their lessons will only send more U.S. public funds for 
counternarcotics down the drain. It is time for a wake-up call in 
Washington to focus on all the important lessons of Plan Colombia, 
for Colombians and for us.

Kevin Healy, Washington
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