Security & Strategic Review - September 2023

US changes tack on counter-narcotics in Colombia and Peru

President Joe Biden’s administration in the US has suspended satellite monitoring of Colombian coca cultivation, quietly dropping one of the key tools in its war on drugs while providing no public explanation for the change. Possible reasons include mounting concern over synthetic drug use, which could be diverting resources from the fight against cocaine trafficking, and political calculations, with the US keen to remain on good terms with Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro – a staunch critic of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has stepped up its counter-narcotics cooperation with Peru, reviving a long-suspended air security agreement.

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