The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, assured, upon his arrival in Colombia, that in order to fight drug trafficking, the roots of the problem must be addressed, such as inequity or “reducing demand in the United States, which is what is fueling all illicit activity.”
Blinken addressed in a joint press conference with the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, the issues that will be discussed in the two days of official visit to the country, among which are the migration crisis, climate change and the implementation of the peace agreement and drug trafficking.
“We are going to focus on attacking the roots of drug trafficking and other challenges such as inequality, corruption, impunity, and that means investing in prevention and recovery for those who are fighting addiction,” said the leader of US diplomacy.
In this sense, and in a speech very different from the usual one of other US officials who are more focused on the eradication of crops, Blinken advocated “investing in young people so that they do not succumb to the temptations of drugs and training judges and prosecutors as well as having laws that prevent corruption from undermining the trust of citizens ”.
This is Blinken’s first visit as Secretary of State to Colombia, one of the main allies of the United States on the continent and during which he will hold a High-Level Dialogue with Colombia.
“We clearly have a path to continue advancing, high-level dialogue, and tomorrow we will have this process once again, a highly constructive process where we look at all public policies and bilateral interests,” Duque said.
The Secretary of State, together with the Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, and other American Foreign Ministers, planned to attend the Ministerial Conference on Migration to discuss the migration crisis on the continent and the rampant increase in Haitians crossing South America to Mexico, United States, and Canada looking for future opportunities.
“We recognize that the great migration challenge we face in the hemisphere requires hemispheric cooperation and collaboration and shared responsibility and that is what the meeting is about,” said Blinken, who assured that “concrete steps will be announced to face this challenge.”
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