Without U.S. Aid, Cocaine Production Might Have Increased Even More


A new report (PDF) on Plan Colombia from the Government Accountability Office concludes that "drug reduction goals were not fully met." That's a pretty generous way of looking at it. As the GAO notes, one of the $6 billion aid program's two main goals when it was launched in 1999 was to "reduce the production of illicit drugs (primarily cocaine) by 50 percent in 6 years." Instead "coca cultivation and cocaine production levels increased by about 15 and 4 percent, respectively." On the brighter side, "opium poppy cultivation and heroin production declined about 50 percent." Hence the current worldwide heroin shortage.