Pubdate: 23 Aug 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press
Author: Any Cabrera, Associated Press Writer


The White House's drug policy chief warned Monday that Colombia faces a
"giant threat" because of cocaine production.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey said that production in Colombia sparked economic and
security problems and hindered government talks with leftist guerillas,
adding the problem had worsened in the last four years.

But the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said there
was "absolutely zero" chance of direct U.S. involvement in the region.

"Our vision is that the United States must be prepared to provide
resources, equipment, training and intelligence but the most important
thing is to provide political support," McCaffrey said at a news conference
in Brazil, the first stop on a four-nation visit to Latin America.

McCaffrey met Monday with Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and
security officials to discuss combating drug trafficking. He will travel on
to Argentina, Peru and Bolivia to do the same.

His tour precedes a November summit of 34 nations from the Americas with
the aim of developing a program of cooperation against drugs.

McCaffrey said cocaine consumption in the United States had declined 70
percent fall over the last decade, prompting traffickers to seek new
markets in Europe and Asia. He said Brazil becoming a shipment route for
those markets. 

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