Fact Sheet: Presidential Decision Directive on the Colombia Initiative (8/4/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                    (Martha?s Vineyard, Massachusetts)

For Immediate Release                              August 4, 2000

                                FACT SHEET

        Presidential Decision Directive on the Colombia Initiative:
                  Increased U.S. Assistance for Colombia

Colombia is enduring difficult, mutually reinforcing social, economic and
security challenges, with serious implications for U.S. national security
and humanitarian interests.  The President has directed, as a matter of
national priority, an increased U.S. Government effort to support the
creation or enhancement of Colombian host-nation capabilities essential to
the successful implementation of Plan Colombia.

Plan Colombia is President Pastrana?s comprehensive and balanced response
to Colombia?s interrelated challenges.  In addition to targeting the
critical drug trafficking problem, the integrated strategy addresses human
rights, democratization, judicial reform, social development, the economy,
and the peace process.

Colombia?s lawlessness, corruption, and long internal conflict are
exacerbated by the immense profits generated by the drug trade.  Ninety
percent of the cocaine supplied to the United States originates in or
passes through Colombia, as does two-thirds of the heroin seized in this
country.  As a result, Colombia has become the central focus of the United
States? Western Hemisphere efforts to reduce the supply of illicit drugs.

Domestic drug abuse costs the United States society an estimated 52,000
lives and $110 billion annually.  In Colombia, pervasive violence has cost
an estimated 35,000 lives in the past fifteen years and displaced more than
700,000 people in the past three years alone.  According to some estimates,
there are as many as 1.4 million internally displaced persons in Colombia,
the fourth largest such crisis in the world and the largest in the Western
Hemisphere.  Colombia is also a dangerous working environment for American
government officials and private citizens, with homicide and kidnapping
rates among the highest in the world.  In addition, regional security is
increasingly strained by the spillover of drug trafficking, insurgent and
paramilitary activities into neighboring countries.

This Administration has been actively pursuing a comprehensive and balanced
strategy to help Colombia fight the drug trade, institute judicial reform,
promote the rule of law, enhance respect for human rights, assist the
internally displaced, expand economic development, and foster peace.  With
today?s announcement, the Administration is intensifying that coordinated
effort at a critical juncture in the fight against illicit drug production
both in Colombia and throughout the Andean region.

In support of the Colombia initiative, Congress recently approved an
Administration request for a substantial increase in assistance for Plan
Colombia implementation.  The $1.3 billion package also provides increased
assistance for other countries in the region, primarily to consolidate
counterdrug gains in the major Andean drug-producing countries and to
ensure that successful law enforcement efforts in Colombia do not simply
drive illicit drug cultivation and production into neighboring countries.

The additional U.S. assistance for Colombia will target:

?    Boosting democratic governing capacity and respect for human rights
throughout Colombia through programs that will provide human rights
training to the military, strengthen human rights monitoring and
enforcement, promote the rule of law and expand access to justice;

?    Increasing the capability of the Colombian National Police, in
conjunction with Colombian Armed Forces, to curtail the cultivation and
production of illicit drugs in Colombia;

?    Increasing the drug interdiction capabilities of both the Colombian
National Police and the Colombian Armed Forces;

?    Promoting a broader based macro-economic recovery, including through
economic reform and incentives to create new jobs and lawful economic
activity throughout Colombia.

Our increased support for the Colombian National Police and Armed Forces
will continue to be focused on the common counter-drug objective.  As a
matter of Administration policy, the United States will not support
Colombian counterinsurgency efforts.  The United States will, however,
provide support, in accordance with existing authorities and this policy,
to the Government of Colombia for force protection and for security
directly related to counterdrug efforts, regardless of the source of the
threat.  The Administration remains convinced that the ultimate solution to
Colombia?s long-standing civil conflict is through a successful peace

Increased U.S. assistance for Colombia will support important programs that
strengthen human rights monitoring and enforcement throughout Colombia and
that provide human rights training to Colombian security forces.  In
addition, U.S. assistance will be restricted to only those police and
military units that are carefully vetted with respect to allegations of
human rights abuses.

The classified Presidential Decision Directive establishes the coordination
framework and assigns key agency roles and responsibilities for enhancing
the U.S. effort to assist President Pastrana and the Colombian people in
implementing their national strategy.  This broad-scope support will entail
significant efforts by many agencies throughout the U.S. government,
including the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and the Treasury, as
well as the Agency for International Development, the Drug Enforcement
Administration, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

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