The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petroreceived this Monday afternoon the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenin the Casa de Nariño, seat of the Colombian Government in Bogotá, the capital of the South American country.
Among the issues addressed during the meeting that lasted several hours and in which the vice president was also present, France Marquezand the chancellor, Alvaro Leyva, there was the fight against drugs, which from the point of view of the Colombian government has to be directed, mainly, to “persecute the owners of drug trafficking.”
The Colombian president pointed out that in order to find the real culprits in the drug business, they must have “intelligence apparatus capable“, to find the leaders of drug trafficking, whose only function “is to make money.”
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Petro commented that this time they addressed the issue of the fight against drugs, an issue that has been part of the agenda of both countries for decades, "from a more flexible perspective" and that it has to do with "a more comprehensive view of the problem of drug use and production."
In that sense, he pointed out that one of the issues that can help change the situation of drug production in Colombia is agrarian reform that his government proposes and that seeks to democratize access to land for peasants and promote a crop substitution campaign.
To do this, Petro said, anti-drug policy must "stop seeing coca leaf producer peasants as criminals". "These are two points of the peace process, which at the time were also discussed with the US government and the government of (Juan Manuel) Santos, which today we want to put into full force. Peace today affects, in my opinion, in a positive way, a new way of understanding the fight against drugs".
"Repress and attack" the "true capital of drug trafficking"
The Colombian president, who added that in the conversation with Blinken they also talked about migration and the security of the Americas, pointed out that among the concrete aspects to hit the drug bosses, is to achieve "repress and attack" where "the real capital of drug trafficking" develops.
On this, Petro explained that in Colombia the world of drugs can be divided into two structures, one called "the proletariat of drug trafficking", made up of low-income people who live in excluded areas and in vulnerable conditions, who are put, "some armed, and others sometimes with their crops" at the service of the illegal business.
In that structure, which is the lowest in drug trafficking, is where "a good part of the violence" that Colombia suffers takes place, and leaves "most of the victims" lethal, displacement and other human rights violations.
On the other hand, he indicated, it is "drug capital"which Petro pointed out as "the real owners" of a business that is made up of people who surely "do not wear camouflage", who "perhaps do not carry a rifle", and who possibly "have been in these halls of the Palace of Nariño, as they have been in the whole of the Political Power of Colombia and perhaps today in other political powers outside of Colombia".
Blinkenfor his part, described as "good" the meeting with Petro, Marquez and the chancellor Leyvaand said that this worked "to deepen" the "cooperation in the defense of democracy and Human Rightspromoting climate action, supporting sustainable and inclusive peace and reconciliation, and addressing irregular migration."
In addition, he stressed that Washington has had "many interactions" with the Petro government and pointed out that in recent months they have been "learning from each other", in a process that has led them to have "similarities and shared elements in many of the issues" that they must address to improve life of their peoples, in an "inclusive" way.
Regarding the fight against drug trafficking, Blinken indicated: "we endorse strongly the holistic approach that President Petro is taking through justice, development, environmental protection, supply reduction, demand reduction".
Blinken also indicated that the US also has taken into account the ideas of President Petro As for "doing more" to intervene in drug trafficking where its highest officials are, an issue that Washington assured is "in tune" with Colombia's vision.
According to a statement from the State Department, Blinken's visit to Colombia is aimed at, address the "shared priorities of supporting strong democratic governments and respect for human rights throughout the Western Hemisphere." They will also address "the climate crisis," as well as health and safety issues.
With information from RT.