Naranjo, speaking on Thursday at an anti-drug summit, said that in 2002, when President Alvaro Uribe first took office, Colombia produced 90 percent of the world’s cocaine — but that has dropped today to 54 percent.
That’s a 40% decrease in six years.
Naranjo said the drop in production was due to intense coca crop erradication efforts, destruction of cocaine laboratories, and persecution of drug organizations.
The FARC is hurting for cash since their extortion and cocaine smuggling rackets are on the decline, so now they’re trying to branch into opportunistic criminality, and getting caught for it.
Security continues to improve:
Nancy Pelosi, who’s too busy going on vacation to notice, has demanded an improvement on security for labor union leaders. She doesn’t want to know about the change that is taking place in Colombia:
International business is responding to the new opportunities in Colombia, and A record breaking US$ 3,1 billion entered Colombia through foreign investments in the first three months of 2008. Tourism is booming.
Via IBD blog:
While bank runs plague Venezuela next door as panicky depositors seek to withdraw their savings before Chavez can get his hands on them, Colombia is an investment magnet, drawing in a record $3.1 billion in the first quarter. If things stay steady, the country should draw at least $12 billion by the end of the year. It would be a 25% rise from 2007’s record-setting $9 billion. See what happens when a country cleans up and follows free markets? The inflowing investment is proof of it, a belief in Colombia’s future. Viva Colombia!
As more businesses continue to invest in Colombia and the country’s economy becomes more dynamic and more diversified, you will see that the stranglehold of the drug cartel’s on the country starts to disappear. More Colombians are returning to the country, which also alleviates the influx of illegal immigrants into the US.
The USA needs to show its support of this progress, and must approve the free trade agreement with Colombia. As Ambassador Shapiro said, it’s good for Colombia, good for the US, and good for our national security.
In related news: Here in the USA US Treasury targets more Colombian FARC supporters
The U.S. Treasury on Thursday said it blacklisted six more companies and 13 individuals linked with Colombia’s FARC guerrillas in an effort to squeeze the group’s financing from narcotics sales.
The Treasury said that among companies added to its list of specially designated narcotics traffickers were three money exchange firms in Bogota, a call center in Villavicencio and two other Bogota firms it called “front companies” for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC.
The designations ban Americans from transactions with the firms and individuals, and freeze any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. It is the Treasury’s fifth action targeting FARC’s financing sources in the past eight months.
Additionally, the two Colombian paramilitaries that Colombia deported to the US have plead guilty to drug charges. The Colombian government deported them to the US last May. along with fourteen others, in the hopes that the extradition would be regarded as evidence that Colombia deserves a trade deal.
The Democrat Congress ignored the move.
Undoubtedly, Colombia still has a long way to go before achieving prosperity and security, but as I predicted last month, there is much cause for optimism.
Unless you’re Nancy Pelosi, that is.