The War on Drugs in Latin America is an ongoing process that started decades ago by President Nixon. When viewing Plan Colombia on paper it seems as though there are many good things to come out of 5 billion dollars the United States has spent over the past seven years. When looking at progress made in Colombia it is a different story, the goals we have set in the beginning of Plan Colombia are not being accomplished and in some cases, we are making situations worse. The US involvement in the War on Drugs in Latin America has far more weak points than strong ones and it is costing a large amount of money and is not getting the job done.
The Colombian Government created Plan Colombia to meet some of the country’s most pressing issues such as promoting the peace process, combating the narcotics industry, reviving the Colombian economy, and strengthening the democratic pillars of Colombian society. This plan estimated to cost around 7. 5 billion dollars total 1. 6 of which The United States paid under the presidency of Bill Clinton. Not only is the US providing Colombia with money to support their plan we also have sent lots of military muscle there as well.
In 1999, Colombia became the leading recipient of US military and police assistance, replacing Turkey. Some of the ways the US are trying to prevent the growth of the coca plant are satellites and fumigation-spraying aircrafts. Although the US is spraying fields and giving a great deal of money to Colombia to help them in the war on drugs it is not nearly the success everyone had hoped for. When US planes come to spray for the coca plant a lot of the time the wont even hit their target, they will spray cow pastures and other plants making them inedible, even to animals.
The growers of the coca plant have also began growing the plants in smaller fields, this makes it much harder of one of the crop dusting planes to be accurate when spraying the fields. By crop dusting for coca we are ruining a large amount of food that was grown, killing food in the process of growing, and ruining the land so there can be no more food grown there. The coca farmers are still thriving, while the farmers who are trying to make an honest living are losing their source of income in an already tough economy.
America is spending billions of dollars to try to end this drug war and all we receive is gunfire from guerrillas trying to shoot down the crop dusting planes. We also see that innocent people are getting caught up in the crossfire of this drug war. We are putting too much time money and resources into this process and we are not seeing enough results to remain involved. The goals we had set in the beginning of Plan Colombia do not look like they will be met, in fact there are more lives being affected in a negative way with crops being ruined and lives being put at risk.