Expanded metrics for rural security and development, environmental protection, and supply reduction will guide future efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy released additional details on a comprehensive set of measurements to guide efforts on rural security and development, environmental protection, and drug supply reduction as part of the U.S.-Colombia counternarcotics strategy announced in October 2021. The implementation of this counternarcotics strategy supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader National Drug Control Strategy, which includes expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, as well reducing the supply of illicit drugs.
“This is an important next step in implementing the strategy developed by the United States and Colombian governments, which recognizes the importance of security, justice, economic development, and environmental protections in achieving our goals,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “These efforts are an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners in Colombia to decrease the availability of illicit substances in the United States and Colombia, while supporting greater security and prosperity in rural areas in Colombia.”
As detailed in the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy, recent data suggest that the current level of effort of manual eradication alone is insufficient to reverse the coca cultivation that provides the raw material for cocaine production in Colombia. To address this and related insecurity in Colombia, the U.S.-Colombia counternarcotics strategy released last year supports a whole-of-government approach in Colombia including illicit crop eradication, alternative development, interdiction, rural security, environmental protection, investigations and prosecutions, judicial support, and public health cooperation.
The newly released framework for measuring progress in these areas includes eight metrics:
- Number of hectares of coca eradicated
- Seizures of cocaine and coca base
- Number of police trained with U.S assistance serving in rural security positions
Increased security presence in rural communities will allow these communities the freedom to pursue licit economies, which is key for the long-term success of the holistic strategy.
- Number of hectares titled or with land use contracts
As more local farmers are able to own their own land, they will have greater freedom to grow licit crops according to the needs of their communities.
- Number of hectares under improved conservation management
Deforestation due to illegal mining, illicit farming, and drug production is devastating Colombia’s land. Under the U.S.-Colombia counternarcotics strategy, the Colombian Government will dedicate resources towards the conservation of land that is unfit for alternative development but can be returned to nature.
- Indictment rate for money laundering charges linked to narcotrafficking
- Number and value of seized assets subject to provisional measures pursuant to asset forfeiture process
- Number of defendants with legalized arrests on charges of environmental crimes
This measure will track the arrest of criminal groups and networks whose illicit activities lead to significant deforestation and/or who derive revenue from environmental crimes such as illegal mining.
The Colombian government, in partnership with the United States, is developing an implementation plan, a process for data collection, and a timeline and method of reporting.