The Colombian president, Iván Duque, assured this Wednesday in Bogota that although the fight against drug trafficking is "shared", his Administration continues to fight him because Colombia has a moral duty to defeat that scourge.
"Although this is a shared struggle, the reason why Colombia and this Government advance that commitment is because it is our moral duty to defeat drug trafficking, crime and so we will continue to act every day until August 7, 2022," he said. the head of state in the Assembly of the Colombo-American Chamber of Commerce.
The pronouncement of the head of state comes after the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said that the Colombian president was "a good guy" but that the Andean country were "getting more drugs" than before Duque assumed the Presidency .
Therefore, Duque stressed that "from the first day" have "spoken with frankness and that frankness begins by recognizing that in recent years, from 2012 to 2018, the hectares sown coca went from less than 60,000 hectares to more than 200,000" .
He recalled that in the previous government "manual eradication groups were reduced from more than 250 to 23", but stressed that in the almost nine months of his Government these groups approach 100 and will continue to "expand".
In reviewing the achievements of his administration in the fight against drug trafficking, Duque said that "more than 4,000 laboratories" have been destroyed for the processing of coca and that the authorities face with determination the "phenomenon of crystallisation refined) of cocaine. "
Duque also said that the actions against the laundering of assets from activities related to drug trafficking have increased and seek "to be increasingly effective in interdiction."
He also acknowledged "the adversities" caused by the limitation of the spraying capacity with the herbicide glyphosate and recalled that it was before the Constitutional Court, where he stated, frankly, arguments "against these phenomena" to have "a modulation that allows that practice with all the rigor and responsibility. "
The Colombian president asked the Constitutional Court in March "a modulation of the sentence" that regulates the use of glyphosate in aerial sprays of illicit crops and urged that a "comprehensive use of tools" be made to combat drug trafficking.
Duque's predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, who governed the country between 2010 and 2018, suspended spraying with glyphosate in compliance with a 2015 ruling by the Constitutional Court based on the argument that the herbicide is potentially carcinogenic and causes health problems .
Two years later, in 2017, the high court issued a ruling in which it stated that the only way to resume the aerial spraying program was through scientific research, which in an "objective and conclusive manner, demonstrates no harm to the health and the environment. "
Duque, who has said he could resume spraying with the herbicide following the parameters of the 2017 ruling of the Constitutional Court, said during his speech that his government has "complied with the ruling" and are "ready to take the step following".
He stressed that "as long as that tool is not there", they will continue to be "forceful in manual eradication".
"Only in 2018, we achieved record figures in manual eradication, and so far this year we have eradicated 16,000 hectares, with the goal of exceeding 80,000 hectares to end this year," he added.