The United States government announced an additional $3.85 million USD of aid to the Colombian National Police to improve human rights practices as an outcome of a visit last month between the new Petro Administration and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Rahul Gupta (above, center), US Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Peter Natiello (right), and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Todd D. Robinson (left).
In addition, Mr. Natiello announced plans to program an additional $6 million from USAID to align with Colombia’s ongoing effort to combat food insecurity.
The five-day visit included bilateral meetings to discuss U.S.-Colombia cooperation on peace implementation, including environmental protection, security, rural development, human rights, counternarcotics, and transnational crime.
US officials also had the opportunity to observe a juvenile drug court hearing, an important tool to divert at-risk juveniles from the penal system before they go to trial. The US Embassy said in a statement that it supports initiatives such as the drug court as part of a commitment to shifting from a purely punitive approach to substance abuse to a public health one, aligned with the announced strategy of Colombia’s President Petro.
Photo: Pedro Moreno