Anti-Drug Gains in Colombia Don’t Reduce Flow to U.S.
Five years and $3 billion into the most aggressive counternarcotics operation ever here, American and Colombian officials say they have eradicated a record-breaking million acres of coca plants, yet cocaine remains as available as ever on American streets, perhaps more so.”It’s very disturbing,” said a senior State Department official traveling here with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is on a five-day tour of the region. Colombian traffickers still provide 90 percent of the cocaine used in the United States and 50 percent of the heroin, just as they did five years ago, the government says. “Key indicators of domestic cocaine availability show stable or slightly increased availability in drug markets throughout the country,” the White House drug policy office acknowledged in February. Officials added that prices have remained stable and purity has improved.Full Story