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LatinNews Daily - 01 November 2021

US lays out new counternarcotics strategy for Colombia

Colombia: On 25 October, the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published a press release detailing a new US-Colombia counternarcotic strategy developed by the Counternarcotics Working Group between the US and Colombian governments. The strategy is centred on drug supply reduction, environmental protection, and rural security and development, and aims to “decrease the availability of illicit substances in the US and Colombia, while supporting greater security and prosperity in [Colombian] rural areas.” The press release cites ONDCP acting director Regina LaBelle as saying that the strategy follows “a holistic approach that recognizes the importance of security, justice, economic development, and environmental protections,” and includes initiatives such as drug demand reduction, anti-money laundering efforts, recovery support services and amplifying land formalisation, together with a “robust investment” in rural development, citizen security, and access to justice, and a comprehensive implementation of the 2016 Colombian Peace Accord.  The US will directly assist Colombia in monitoring and reversing environmental crimes perpetrated by narcotrafficking groups. Initiatives will include restoring tropical rainforests, eliminating of coca cultivation fields and identifying opportunities to advance climate change goals in the Amazon region.

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