President of the Republic of Colombia Iván Duque and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Philip Goldberg reaffirmed during an April 26 meeting the strong bilateral U.S-Colombia commitment to implementing a holistic counternarcotics strategy, with a long term approach, initially focused on the municipalities of Cáceres, Sardinata, and Tumaco, seeking to expand it to additional municipalities, with Colombia’s goal of reaching the 120 PDET municipalities most affected by criminal networks, their illicit economies and expressions of violence. Both countries are devising new methods for measuring the sustainability of our holistic joint strategy. As announced at the September 2021 Counternarcotics Working Group, this three-pillar counternarcotics strategy is focused on: integrated drug supply reduction; promoting comprehensive rural security, development, and justice; and protecting the environment from illegal armed groups. The rural development effort includes an innovative large-scale land titling program in the target municipalities, as well as increased access to justice and improved security in rural communities, implemented through a strong U.S.-Colombian partnership.
During the meeting, President Duque signed a directive to strengthen interinstitutional cooperation and coordination under the bilateral counternarcotics strategy agreed upon at the Counternarcotics Working Group and Colombia-Unites States High Level Dialogue in 2021.
In addition, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs announced the intended delivery of 12 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for use by the Colombian National Police. This aviation support will enhance the capabilities of the Colombian National Police and enable them to deploy a modern, safe, and effective fleet against narcotrafficking organizations and to better support citizen security and the implementation of the bilateral counternarcotics strategy, especially in Colombia’s rural areas.