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Overview:
The Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) is a program operated within the US State Department that is responsible for supporting anti-drug initiatives in Colombia and other South American countries. ACI grew out of a controversial legislation, Plan Colombia, which supported various drug wars in South America. The program seeks to eradicate coca and induce local farmers to plant alternative crops. But for all the money that has been spent towards stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States from South America, little progress has been made in reaching this goal.
 
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) was signed into law in 1991. It provided the countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru duty-free access to the US market for a wide range of products. ATPA was intended to promote economic alternatives to drug-crop production in the Andean region, help build the economies of regional trading partners and strengthen democracy and regional stability by giving governments tools to fight narco-terrorism.

 
The Andean Counterdrug Initiative came about as a result of growing violence in Colombia. Plan Colombia, a controversial piece of legislation, was suggested in the late 1990s by proponents who claimed the plan would end Colombia’s civil war and put narco-traffickers out of business. Working with the Colombian government, the US government put up $3.5 billion to implement the plan. 
 
These funds were intended to help the Colombian government regain control of the country (of which some 40% was controlled by guerilla forces). One objective was to launch a military offensive against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in southern Colombia. Secondarily, Plan Colombia aimed to eradicate coca crops grown in that region. Farmers would be offered funding for alternative crops and aid made available to campesinos forced to flee their homes and abandon their land.
 
Beneath these objectives was the larger aim of attracting investors to Colombia’s markets and resources. The Colombian government agreed to implement policies deemed friendly to business interests, and in return, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed in December 1999 to lend Colombia $2.7 billion. The European Union was asked to provide additional funding.
 
In 2000 the Clinton administration supported Plan Columbia by committing $1.3 billion in foreign aid and up to 500 military personnel to train local forces. An additional 300 civilian personnel were allowed to assist in the eradication of coca.
 
In 2001 President George W. Bush requested an initiative to “provide assistance to the Andes.” More than $800 million was requested in the FY 2002 federal budget to be used in international affairs funding for counter-narcotics programs, democratic institution building and development assistance in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Less than half of the assistance was for Colombia, and only half would be applied to law enforcement and security assistance expenses. The Bush administration also asked for the ATPA to be renewed and for an expansion of benefits supplied under this legislation. This expanded program became known as the Andean Counterdrug Initiative.
 
The Andes continued to be an area of strategic focus for the US in 2004, when a compromise version of two House-Senate bills was approved, increasing the number of U.S. military advisors operating in the country as part of Plan Colombia (from 400 to 800). 
 
While the amount of resources dedicated to combating drug production and trafficking has more than doubled in the past three years, the results have been dismal at best. On April 14, 2006, the US Drug Czar’s office announced that its Colombian coca cultivation estimate for 2005 was significantly greater than that of any year since 2002. The press release from the US Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that “coca cultivation declined by 8%, from 114,100 to 105,400 hectares, when those areas surveyed by the US government in 2004 were compared with the same areas in 2005.” However, “the survey also found 144,000 hectares of coca under cultivation in 2005 in a search area that was 81% larger than that used in 2004 ... newly imaged areas show about 39,000 additional hectares of coca. Because these areas were not previously surveyed, it is impossible to determine for how long they have been under coca cultivation.”
 
Critics of Plan Colombia and of ongoing fumigation programs considered this new information as a sign of the failure of current U.S. drug policy. The Center for International Policy stated that “even if we accept the US government’s argument that the high 2005 estimate owes to measurement in new areas, it is impossible to claim that Plan Colombia has brought a 50% reduction in coca-growing in six years ... Either Colombia has returned to [the 2002] level of cultivation, or the ‘reductions’ reported in 2002 and 2003 were false due to poor measurement.”
 
US government officials admitted in late 2005 that the market price of cocaine had yet to rise significantly, as would be expected from the above reductions in supply. They pointed to possible hidden stashes and other methods of circumventing the immediate effect of eradication efforts, that allow for a relatively constant flow of drugs to enter into the market, delaying the consequences of drug eradication. US Drug Czar John Walters stated that, “The reason for [reductions in supply not immediately driving prices up] is that you are not seizing and consuming coca leaves that were grown in 2004 in 2004. You are seizing and consuming coca leaves that were probably grown and processed in 2003 and 2002.”
 

Other observers say this points to the ultimate ineffectiveness of the plan in stopping the flow of drugs and addressing more important or underlying issues like providing a

viable alternative for landless and other peasants

, who turn to coca cultivation due to a lack of other economic possibilities, in addition to having to deal with the tumultuous civil conflict between the state, guerrillas and paramilitaries. They also say that simply making coca difficult to grow and transport in one area will lead to the movement of the drug cultivation processes to other areas, both inside and outside Colombia, a consequence also known as the

balloon effect.

 

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI), a program within the State Department, is responsible for supporting anti-drug initiatives in Colombia and surrounding Andean nations. ACI’s policies are designed to strengthen democracy, increase stability in the region, help restore the faltering economies of Andean countries and eradicate coca crops by working with local farmers. 

 
The purpose of the ACI is to reduce illicit drug crop cultivation and trafficking in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil. In addition to eradicating the crops, ACI officials detect and interdict the movement of illicit drugs, chemicals and money, and disrupt the operations of drug trafficking organizations and illegal armed groups by using assets, extraditions and asset forfeiture. 
 

By reducing illegal drug trafficking, ACI also addresses national security in two ways, according to US officials. Programs designed to attack the source of 90% of the cocaine and 40% of the heroin entering the United States do no further social or economic damage to the poor, who often cultivate these crops out of necessity. Secondarily, these programs strengthen law enforcement and military institutions to maintain the balance of law. The State Department’s

International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau

(INL) administers the eradication and interdiction components of the ACI program. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) administers the alternative development programs under ACI and contracts with private firms to conduct independent

evaluations of elements of its ACI programs in Bolivia and Colombia. USAID does not regularly schedule independent evaluations and has not contracted for evaluations of its programs in Peru or Ecuador, two of the four Andean countries in which it administers ACI programs.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which oversees the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, funding from the program (for 2005) was distributed to seven countries for counternarcotics and security (C&S) and economic and social development (E&S).

 
Colombia = $462 million ($310.6 million C&S; $152 million E&S)
Peru = $115.3 million ($61.5 million C&S; $53.8 million E&S)
Bolivia = $90.2 million ($48.6 million C&S; $41.6 million E&S)
Ecuador = $25.7 million ($10.9 million C&S; $14.8 million E&S)
Brazil = $8.9 million (all E&S)
Panama = $5.9 million (all E&S)

Venezuela = $2.9 million (all E&S)

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Military Component

A January 2006 Congressional Research Report revealed controversy over the implementation of Plan Colombia, especially as regards to the plan’s military aspects. Although military operations against illegally armed groups have intensified, the leftist guerilla group in Colombia has not come closer to agreeing to a cease-fire. Rightist paramilitary fighters have demobilized, but this has raised controversy about how this is being implemented. Who should be disarmed, and what groups have a right to stay? And how much force should be allowed in cracking down on these groups?
Plan Colombia: A Progress Report (Connie Veillette, Congressional Research Service)               
 
Bolivian Natural Gas Pipeline and Regional Conflict
A May 2005 CRS Report for Congress revealed that political unrest in Bolivia, resulting from the resignation of its president in 2003, had resulted in continued discord over issues relating to the exploitation of its natural resources, coca eradication programs, indigenous rights, and the extent of power sharing between the central government and the country’s nine departments. Bolivia has the second-largest natural gas
reserves in Latin America after Venezuela, and the Bolivian government has plans that have generated considerable controversy to export gas to the United States and Mexico, necessitating the construction of a pipeline to a coastal port of a neighboring country. The problem resurfaced in 2008, leading to a diplomatic clash between the governments of the U.S. and Bolivia.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues for the 109th Congress (Mark P. Sullivan, Coordinator, J. F. Hornbeck, Clare Ribando, Lenore Sek, K. Larry Storrs, Maureen Taft-Morales, and Connie Veillette, CRS, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division) (PDF)
 
US Soldiers Accused of Smuggling and Selling Arms to Paramilitaries
A May 2005 article revealed that while President George W. Bush was seeking an additional $700 million for the Andean drug war, a small group of Republican legislators, acting at the behest of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, was seeking an additional $150 million to be used to spray herbicide on Colombian coca fields. But while this money was being sought, one group of American soldiers in Colombia were caught smuggling cocaine to the United States, and another group was involved in the sale of weapons to rightwing paramilitary groups. Uribe himself was involved in a political controversy for advocating a program that would provide amnesty to paramilitaries linked to the trafficking of cocaine and to bloody human rights abuses.

Colombia probes cocaine smuggling by US troops

(AFP/Reuters)

 

more

Comments

NMRK 6 years ago
colombia, peru, bolivia, ecuador, venezuela, panama and brazil send drug users with a one way ticket to the above named country of their choice so they can get their drugs wholesale. put them on a no fly etc. list so that they can never come home. and what do these countries do with our tax dollars? fertilize the crops? just stop. let holder handle it. he is doing a great job with mexico--right?
Alex Vargas 8 years ago
Legalize it, tax it and turn it into a economic tool, doesn't the USA and other nations use nuclear weapons and weapons in general to keep control of other nations and the economy, why would Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil do away with their own economic wild card ???

Leave a comment

Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $443 million
Employees: 218
Andean Counterdrug Initiative
Johnson, David
Previous Assistant Secretary

 A native of Georgia, David T. Johnson has served since October 2007 as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In this capacity, Johnson oversees the Andean Counterdrug Initiative.

 
Johnson earned a bachelor’s in economics from Emory University in 1976 and later attended Canada's National Defense College in 1989-1990. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1977, he was an assistant national trust examiner with the US Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
 
Johnson has worked in the State Department on European security issues and as desk officer for Berlin, Austria, and Switzerland; an economic officer at the US Embassy in Berlin; and a vice consul at the US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez. He also served as a member of the US Delegation to the Vienna Follow-up Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; deputy director of the State Department’s Operations Center; US Consul General in Vancouver; and as deputy spokesman at the State Department and director of the State Department Press Office.
 
Johnson was deputy press secretary for foreign affairs at the White House and spokesman for the National Security Council from 1995 to 1997. He served as US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from January 1998 until December 2001 and as the Afghan Coordinator for the United States from May 2002 to July 2003. In that capacity, he was responsible for all aspects of US policy toward Afghanistan. Johnson then served as deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy in London from August 2003 until July 2007.
 
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:
The Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) is a program operated within the US State Department that is responsible for supporting anti-drug initiatives in Colombia and other South American countries. ACI grew out of a controversial legislation, Plan Colombia, which supported various drug wars in South America. The program seeks to eradicate coca and induce local farmers to plant alternative crops. But for all the money that has been spent towards stemming the flow of illegal drugs into the United States from South America, little progress has been made in reaching this goal.
 
more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) was signed into law in 1991. It provided the countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru duty-free access to the US market for a wide range of products. ATPA was intended to promote economic alternatives to drug-crop production in the Andean region, help build the economies of regional trading partners and strengthen democracy and regional stability by giving governments tools to fight narco-terrorism.

 
The Andean Counterdrug Initiative came about as a result of growing violence in Colombia. Plan Colombia, a controversial piece of legislation, was suggested in the late 1990s by proponents who claimed the plan would end Colombia’s civil war and put narco-traffickers out of business. Working with the Colombian government, the US government put up $3.5 billion to implement the plan. 
 
These funds were intended to help the Colombian government regain control of the country (of which some 40% was controlled by guerilla forces). One objective was to launch a military offensive against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in southern Colombia. Secondarily, Plan Colombia aimed to eradicate coca crops grown in that region. Farmers would be offered funding for alternative crops and aid made available to campesinos forced to flee their homes and abandon their land.
 
Beneath these objectives was the larger aim of attracting investors to Colombia’s markets and resources. The Colombian government agreed to implement policies deemed friendly to business interests, and in return, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed in December 1999 to lend Colombia $2.7 billion. The European Union was asked to provide additional funding.
 
In 2000 the Clinton administration supported Plan Columbia by committing $1.3 billion in foreign aid and up to 500 military personnel to train local forces. An additional 300 civilian personnel were allowed to assist in the eradication of coca.
 
In 2001 President George W. Bush requested an initiative to “provide assistance to the Andes.” More than $800 million was requested in the FY 2002 federal budget to be used in international affairs funding for counter-narcotics programs, democratic institution building and development assistance in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Less than half of the assistance was for Colombia, and only half would be applied to law enforcement and security assistance expenses. The Bush administration also asked for the ATPA to be renewed and for an expansion of benefits supplied under this legislation. This expanded program became known as the Andean Counterdrug Initiative.
 
The Andes continued to be an area of strategic focus for the US in 2004, when a compromise version of two House-Senate bills was approved, increasing the number of U.S. military advisors operating in the country as part of Plan Colombia (from 400 to 800). 
 
While the amount of resources dedicated to combating drug production and trafficking has more than doubled in the past three years, the results have been dismal at best. On April 14, 2006, the US Drug Czar’s office announced that its Colombian coca cultivation estimate for 2005 was significantly greater than that of any year since 2002. The press release from the US Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that “coca cultivation declined by 8%, from 114,100 to 105,400 hectares, when those areas surveyed by the US government in 2004 were compared with the same areas in 2005.” However, “the survey also found 144,000 hectares of coca under cultivation in 2005 in a search area that was 81% larger than that used in 2004 ... newly imaged areas show about 39,000 additional hectares of coca. Because these areas were not previously surveyed, it is impossible to determine for how long they have been under coca cultivation.”
 
Critics of Plan Colombia and of ongoing fumigation programs considered this new information as a sign of the failure of current U.S. drug policy. The Center for International Policy stated that “even if we accept the US government’s argument that the high 2005 estimate owes to measurement in new areas, it is impossible to claim that Plan Colombia has brought a 50% reduction in coca-growing in six years ... Either Colombia has returned to [the 2002] level of cultivation, or the ‘reductions’ reported in 2002 and 2003 were false due to poor measurement.”
 
US government officials admitted in late 2005 that the market price of cocaine had yet to rise significantly, as would be expected from the above reductions in supply. They pointed to possible hidden stashes and other methods of circumventing the immediate effect of eradication efforts, that allow for a relatively constant flow of drugs to enter into the market, delaying the consequences of drug eradication. US Drug Czar John Walters stated that, “The reason for [reductions in supply not immediately driving prices up] is that you are not seizing and consuming coca leaves that were grown in 2004 in 2004. You are seizing and consuming coca leaves that were probably grown and processed in 2003 and 2002.”
 

Other observers say this points to the ultimate ineffectiveness of the plan in stopping the flow of drugs and addressing more important or underlying issues like providing a

viable alternative for landless and other peasants

, who turn to coca cultivation due to a lack of other economic possibilities, in addition to having to deal with the tumultuous civil conflict between the state, guerrillas and paramilitaries. They also say that simply making coca difficult to grow and transport in one area will lead to the movement of the drug cultivation processes to other areas, both inside and outside Colombia, a consequence also known as the

balloon effect.

 

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI), a program within the State Department, is responsible for supporting anti-drug initiatives in Colombia and surrounding Andean nations. ACI’s policies are designed to strengthen democracy, increase stability in the region, help restore the faltering economies of Andean countries and eradicate coca crops by working with local farmers. 

 
The purpose of the ACI is to reduce illicit drug crop cultivation and trafficking in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil. In addition to eradicating the crops, ACI officials detect and interdict the movement of illicit drugs, chemicals and money, and disrupt the operations of drug trafficking organizations and illegal armed groups by using assets, extraditions and asset forfeiture. 
 

By reducing illegal drug trafficking, ACI also addresses national security in two ways, according to US officials. Programs designed to attack the source of 90% of the cocaine and 40% of the heroin entering the United States do no further social or economic damage to the poor, who often cultivate these crops out of necessity. Secondarily, these programs strengthen law enforcement and military institutions to maintain the balance of law. The State Department’s

International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau

(INL) administers the eradication and interdiction components of the ACI program. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) administers the alternative development programs under ACI and contracts with private firms to conduct independent

evaluations of elements of its ACI programs in Bolivia and Colombia. USAID does not regularly schedule independent evaluations and has not contracted for evaluations of its programs in Peru or Ecuador, two of the four Andean countries in which it administers ACI programs.

 

more
Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, which oversees the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, funding from the program (for 2005) was distributed to seven countries for counternarcotics and security (C&S) and economic and social development (E&S).

 
Colombia = $462 million ($310.6 million C&S; $152 million E&S)
Peru = $115.3 million ($61.5 million C&S; $53.8 million E&S)
Bolivia = $90.2 million ($48.6 million C&S; $41.6 million E&S)
Ecuador = $25.7 million ($10.9 million C&S; $14.8 million E&S)
Brazil = $8.9 million (all E&S)
Panama = $5.9 million (all E&S)

Venezuela = $2.9 million (all E&S)

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Military Component

A January 2006 Congressional Research Report revealed controversy over the implementation of Plan Colombia, especially as regards to the plan’s military aspects. Although military operations against illegally armed groups have intensified, the leftist guerilla group in Colombia has not come closer to agreeing to a cease-fire. Rightist paramilitary fighters have demobilized, but this has raised controversy about how this is being implemented. Who should be disarmed, and what groups have a right to stay? And how much force should be allowed in cracking down on these groups?
Plan Colombia: A Progress Report (Connie Veillette, Congressional Research Service)               
 
Bolivian Natural Gas Pipeline and Regional Conflict
A May 2005 CRS Report for Congress revealed that political unrest in Bolivia, resulting from the resignation of its president in 2003, had resulted in continued discord over issues relating to the exploitation of its natural resources, coca eradication programs, indigenous rights, and the extent of power sharing between the central government and the country’s nine departments. Bolivia has the second-largest natural gas
reserves in Latin America after Venezuela, and the Bolivian government has plans that have generated considerable controversy to export gas to the United States and Mexico, necessitating the construction of a pipeline to a coastal port of a neighboring country. The problem resurfaced in 2008, leading to a diplomatic clash between the governments of the U.S. and Bolivia.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues for the 109th Congress (Mark P. Sullivan, Coordinator, J. F. Hornbeck, Clare Ribando, Lenore Sek, K. Larry Storrs, Maureen Taft-Morales, and Connie Veillette, CRS, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division) (PDF)
 
US Soldiers Accused of Smuggling and Selling Arms to Paramilitaries
A May 2005 article revealed that while President George W. Bush was seeking an additional $700 million for the Andean drug war, a small group of Republican legislators, acting at the behest of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, was seeking an additional $150 million to be used to spray herbicide on Colombian coca fields. But while this money was being sought, one group of American soldiers in Colombia were caught smuggling cocaine to the United States, and another group was involved in the sale of weapons to rightwing paramilitary groups. Uribe himself was involved in a political controversy for advocating a program that would provide amnesty to paramilitaries linked to the trafficking of cocaine and to bloody human rights abuses.

Colombia probes cocaine smuggling by US troops

(AFP/Reuters)

 

more

Comments

NMRK 6 years ago
colombia, peru, bolivia, ecuador, venezuela, panama and brazil send drug users with a one way ticket to the above named country of their choice so they can get their drugs wholesale. put them on a no fly etc. list so that they can never come home. and what do these countries do with our tax dollars? fertilize the crops? just stop. let holder handle it. he is doing a great job with mexico--right?
Alex Vargas 8 years ago
Legalize it, tax it and turn it into a economic tool, doesn't the USA and other nations use nuclear weapons and weapons in general to keep control of other nations and the economy, why would Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil do away with their own economic wild card ???

Leave a comment

Founded: 2001
Annual Budget: $443 million
Employees: 218
Andean Counterdrug Initiative
Johnson, David
Previous Assistant Secretary

 A native of Georgia, David T. Johnson has served since October 2007 as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In this capacity, Johnson oversees the Andean Counterdrug Initiative.

 
Johnson earned a bachelor’s in economics from Emory University in 1976 and later attended Canada's National Defense College in 1989-1990. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1977, he was an assistant national trust examiner with the US Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
 
Johnson has worked in the State Department on European security issues and as desk officer for Berlin, Austria, and Switzerland; an economic officer at the US Embassy in Berlin; and a vice consul at the US Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez. He also served as a member of the US Delegation to the Vienna Follow-up Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe; deputy director of the State Department’s Operations Center; US Consul General in Vancouver; and as deputy spokesman at the State Department and director of the State Department Press Office.
 
Johnson was deputy press secretary for foreign affairs at the White House and spokesman for the National Security Council from 1995 to 1997. He served as US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from January 1998 until December 2001 and as the Afghan Coordinator for the United States from May 2002 to July 2003. In that capacity, he was responsible for all aspects of US policy toward Afghanistan. Johnson then served as deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy in London from August 2003 until July 2007.
 
 
more