U.S. Funding of Latin Anti-Drug War Sharply Curtailed
U.S. anti-drug aid to South American nations is being quietly but sharply curtailed by both Congress and the Clinton Administration (Douglas Jehl, "U.S. Is Cutting Aid To Latin Drug War: Washington Puts New Stress On Domestic Campaign To Reduce Narcotic Use," New York Times, 3/25/93, A8).
The aid cutbacks represent a reversal of Bush Administration priorities. Congress slashed military and economic aid to the Andean nations -- Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia -- this January after concluding that the aid had failed totally to stem coca cultivation and cocaine production. The White House, which had not yet appointed a director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as of late March, reduced the ONDCP staff to a fraction of its prior size, and announced a shift in strategy away from interdiction and source control to education, treatment, and reliance on state and local law enforcement.
Approximately $3 billion annually is spent in international drug control out of a total $12 billion anti-drug budget. The entire budget is being reviewed by the Administration, officials said.
The Bush Administration had requested $387 million for the Andean nations for the current fiscal year, but Congress appropriated only $174 million, a 35 percent cut over the prior fiscal year.