WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Hal Rogers met with Colombian President Santos and other Colombian officials this week to discuss joint efforts to battle the spread of illegal narcotics. The U.S. and Colombia have a partnership that allows the two countries to work closely together to fight the drug trade -- and the organized crime and terrorist groups that use billions of dollars from the sale of illegal narcotics to fund their organizations.
As part of this partnership, the U.S. assists in training and equipping Colombian security forces, as well as other security forces in the region and around the world to help eradicate coca fields, disrupt supply lines, and seize drug shipments. Congressman Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, directs funds for these critical activities in the annual budget process.
"In Southeast Kentucky, the scourge of illegal drug use has decimated lives and families. We've lost nearly an entire generation to drug overdoses, leaving many children to be raised by someone other than their parents. The work our military and U.S. Officials do on the ground in cooperation with Colombia has stopped literally tons of cocaine, weapons, and other illegal goods from spreading into Kentucky, our nation and around the world," Rogers said.
"Once these drugs make it into our borders, it costs billions of tax dollars to track the supply, seize the narcotics, and prosecute criminal cases. Working side by side with the Colombians, we can stop these drugs close to their source, resulting in huge savings in both dollars and human life, and increasing the security of both nations," Rogers said.
Rogers, President Santos, and other Colombian officials also discussed ways to increase trade between the U.S. and Colombia to boost economic growth and make both countries more prosperous.
"We have a great partner in Colombia and they are fighting vigilantly to stop illegal drugs and other criminal activities that do so much harm to their country and ours. The U.S. programs that assist them in these efforts are critically important, and are already reaping huge benefits for both countries and the region," Rogers said.