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Sorry, Hillary, Plan Colombia Has Been a Disaster in the War on Drugs

Daniel Robelo - Drug Policy Alliance
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November 14, 2015
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Hillary Clinton vs Bernie Sanders (Bernie Sanders For President)

This week Hillary Clinton again revealed a blind spot for the drug war and a deafness of tone towards Latino issues. She decided to brag about Plan Colombia, her husband's signature international drug policy initiative, which has been a total disaster in one of the most emblematic theaters of the failed war on drugs.

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Clinton was asked about immigration. After citing her record of voting to militarize the border and referring to immigrants as "illegal", she invoked Plan Colombia to show off her hawkish bona fides, saying:

"We have an example of how effective the United States can be. When my husband was president, as you remember, there was a war going on in Colombia by drug traffickers and insurgent rebels. ... And we did something called Plan Colombia. Where we helped the government figure out how to secure their country from drug traffickers and rebels. And it took a number of years but now it's a success story."

Hers is a colorful revision of history. Too bad it's not how things have actually gone down.

Plan Colombia - a massive U.S. military and counternarcotics aid package to the Colombian government - began in 2000. A decade and a half and $10 billion later, it has had little impact on coca cultivation, cocaine production or the cocaine trade (Colombia is again the world's leading coca producer). But it has had a devastating impact on Colombia and its people.

...Yet shamefully it's being rolled out as a model and exported throughout the region. First it was Mexico, to which the US has given $3 billion in military assistance since 2007. The results have been predictable: murders, disappearances, displacement, torture, and extrajudicial executions have all skyrocketed - many perpetrated by security forces armed, trained and equipped by the US of A.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post

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