SPEAKERS       CONTENTS       INSERTS    
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29–970 PDF

2006
NEED FOR EUROPEAN ASSISTANCE TO COLOMBIA FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLICIT DRUGS

JOINT HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM,
AND HOMELAND SECURITY

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

AND THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED NINTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

SEPTEMBER 21, 2006

Serial No. 109–148

(Committee on the Judiciary)

Serial No. 109–228

(Committee on International Relations)

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on International Relations

Available via the World Wide Web: http://judiciary.house.gov
and http://internationalrelations.house.gov

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
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HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
STEVE KING, Iowa
TOM FEENEY, Florida
TRENT FRANKS, Arizona
LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas

JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
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JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, Maryland
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Florida

PHILIP G. KIKO, General Counsel-Chief of Staff
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel

Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security

HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina, Chairman

DANIEL E. LUNGREN, California
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
TOM FEENEY, Florida
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STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
RIC KELLER, Florida
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
LOUIE GOHMERT, Texas

ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York

MICHAEL VOLKOV, Chief Counsel
DAVID BRINK, Counsel
CAROLINE LYNCH, Counsel
JASON CERVENAK, Full Committee Counsel
BOBBY VASSAR, Minority Counsel

COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman

JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
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CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey,
  Vice Chairman
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
DARRELL ISSA, California
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
THADDEUS G. McCOTTER, Michigan
KATHERINE HARRIS, Florida
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
CONNIE MACK, Florida
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas
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TED POE, Texas

TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
ADAM SMITH, Washington
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota
BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
DENNIS A. CARDOZA, California
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
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THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman

RON PAUL, Texas
JERRY WELLER, Illinois, Vice Chairman
KATHERINE HARRIS, Florida
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CONNIE MACK, Florida
MICHAEL McCAUL, Texas

ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
GRACE NAPOLITANO, California
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California

MARK WALKER, Subcommittee Staff Director
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JASON STEINBAUM, Democratic Professional Staff Member
BRIAN WANKO, Professional Staff Member

C O N T E N T S

SEPTEMBER 21, 2006

OPENING STATEMENT
    The Honorable Howard Coble, a Representative in Congress from the State of North Carolina, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary

    The Honorable Dan Burton, a Representative in Congress from the State of Indiana, and Chairman, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on International Relations

    The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary

    The Honorable Eliot L. Engel, a Representative in Congress from the State of New York, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on International Relations

WITNESSES
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Mr. Michael A. Braun, Chief of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Oral Testimony
Prepared Statement

Mr. Sandro Calvani, Representative, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Bogota, Colombia
Oral Testimony
Prepared Statement

Major Raul Fernando Lopez, Colombian National Police, on behalf of the Honorable Rosso José Serrano, Ambassador of Colombia in Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Vienna
Oral Testimony
Prepared Statement

APPENDIX

Material Submitted for the Hearing Record

    Prepared Statement of the Honorable Dan Burton, a Representative in Congress from the State of Indiana, and Chairman, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on International Relations

    Prepared Statement of the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas, and Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, Committee on the Judiciary
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    Prepared Statement of the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida, and Member, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on International Relations

    Prepared Statement of the Honorable Barbara Lee, a Representative in Congress from the State of California, and Member, Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Committee on International Relations

    Post-Hearing Questions to Michael A. Braun from the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee

    Post-Hearing Questions to Sandro Calvani and Michael A. Braun from the Honorable Barbara Lee

    Post-Hearing Questions to Michael A. Braun, the Honorable Rosso José Serrano, and Sandro Calvani, from the Honorable Sam Farr, a Representative in Congress from the State of California, and Member, Committee on Appropriations

    Letter to the Honorable Henry Hyde, a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations, from Ambassador John Bruton, Head of Delegation, European Union, dated September 15, 2006

    Letter to the Honorable Henry Hyde, a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations, including Outline of Drug Policies of the European Commission in Colombia from Ambassador John Bruton, Head of Delegation, European Union, dated September 19, 2006
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    Charts from ''Report on Progress in Colombia'' of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from November 17, 2005 Briefing to Foreign Press Center

NEED FOR EUROPEAN ASSISTANCE TO COLOMBIA FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLICIT DRUGS

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2006

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,
and Homeland Security
Committee on the Judiciary,

and

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittees met, pursuant to notice, at 12:07 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, the Honorable Howard Coble (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security) presiding.

    Mr. COBLE. Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize to you all for the delay. We had a vote on the floor, and we have no control over that. And we will commence very shortly. And thank you for your patience.
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    Good morning, again, ladies and gentlemen. Again, we apologize for the belated kick-off. I hope you all understand that.

    I want to welcome you all to this important joint oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere to examine the increase in trafficking of Colombian cocaine into Europe and the role of the European community in combating cocaine trafficking from the Andes.

    I recently traveled to Vienna, Austria—well, recently, 8 or 9 months ago—to meet with the European and South American leaders to discuss narcotrafficking. This meeting was hosted by Ambassador Rosso José Serrano, the Colombian Ambassador to Austria, and one of the witnesses who was invited to testify before us today.

    Although I was encouraged to learn that U.S. cooperation with Colombian officials and vigilant efforts by our own DEA have reduced cocaine shipments into the United States, I was furthermore alarmed to hear that the Colombian cartels are now turning their attention toward Europe.

    I hope our witnesses today might address the Geneva Convention reporting requirements for precursor chemicals. I am told that U.S. chemical companies are required to notify Colombian authorities when precursor chemicals are sent to Colombia.

    Although these requirements apply to the E.U., not all countries have complied. In fact, Germany and the Netherlands have become notorious in the drug enforcement community for supplying Colombia's drug lords with the essential chemicals to make cocaine.
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    I think it is important that we begin a dialogue with our European counterparts to gain their full cooperation on this critical component of cocaine production.

    Portugal and Spain function as gateway nations for trafficking Colombian cocaine into Europe. Both nations are reporting massive increases in the amount of Colombian cocaine interdicted over the last year.

    For example, in the first 6 months of 2006, the amount of seized cocaine increased to 30 metric tons, almost double the 18 metric tons seized over the entire previous year. If the rate in the increase of seizures remains constant, Portugal and Spain will experience a 400 percent increase in cocaine seizures between 2005 and 2006.

    Just this past Monday, Dominican authorities seized 2,250 kilograms of cocaine, the largest amount seized by that country, concealed in a shipping container bound for Europe. In total, it is believed that between 40 and 50 percent of all Colombian cocaine is now sent to Europe.

    Colombian cartels have realized several advantages to shifting their attention to Europe. Aside from being more geographically convenient than the United States, the implementation of open borders between E.U. member states has enabled traffickers to access markets across the entire continent with relative ease.

    Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the European market to the Colombian cartels is the substantial increase in the profit margin. The price of a kilo of cocaine in Europe is roughly three times than that would demand in the United States.
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    Profits from the illicit exportation of narcotics are funding violent terrorist organizations, such the FARC and AUC. These organizations engage in brutal acts of violence against the government and civilians of Colombia and create an environment ripe for exploitation by the cartels.

    While the United States has successfully prosecuted several paramilitary leaders and helped destroy thousands of acres of coca in Colombia, DEA officials report that FARC and AUC are operating in Spain, an indication that these organizations have turned their attention to Europe as an untapped resource.

    Over the past year, I have often cited the extreme violence exhibited by paramilitary groups engaged in narcotics trafficking. I hope that our European counterparts recognize the imminent danger that these groups pose.

    I am not laying blame or casting fault, but I am disappointed that the European Union has chosen not to participate in today's hearing, to which they were invited.

    I am encouraged to learn that the seven European countries are creating a counternarcotics liaison center in Lisbon, Portugal, modeled after the Joint Interagency Task Force in Key West, Florida. I encourage the DEA to offer its support and assistance to these countries and the creation of this center. I believe it will be a valuable asset to our Key West operation.

    I look forward, as I am sure my colleagues do, to hearing from today's witnesses.
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    And I am now pleased to recognize Mr. Dan Burton, the gentleman from Indiana, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. And I thank him and his Members if they in fact join us.

    And, Dan, if you will suspend a minute, as we normally do, the opening statements will be restricted to the Chairmen and the Ranking Members, and all Members will be allowed to introduce their respective statements and be made a part of the record.

    The distinguished gentleman from Indiana?

    Mr. BURTON. Chairman Coble, I want to, first of all, ask how your surgery went this morning. Did it go well? He had to run out to the hospital.

    Mr. COBLE. Well, I just told Mr. Scott, I went to the butcher shop this morning, but I think I am okay. Thank you for asking.

    Mr. BURTON. Well, you look good anyhow.

    As Chairman Coble pointed out, we are at a critical juncture in the war on drugs. Just as we and our Colombian allies are starting to make real progress in Colombia, we are finding that the path to ultimate success is being undermined by the growing demand for and consumptions of Andean narcotics in Europe, especially Colombian cocaine.

    During a recent fact-finding trip to Spain and Portugal, it was discovered that as much as 50 percent of Colombian cocaine is now going to Europe. I think some of this has been mentioned by my colleague. This development should send alarm bells ringing through the capitals of Europe, the European Union and at our own State Department.
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    Spain, for example, is now the second-largest consumer of cocaine per capita, just behind the United States. Colombian cocaine is being trafficked from Colombia, Venezuela and other nations in our hemisphere directly to Europe. Spain and Portugal, unfortunately, are the portals for this trafficking.

    With rising demand in Europe and prices per kilogram, as the Chairman said, reaching as much as three times more than here in the United States, it is no wonder we are seeing record seizures of cocaine in that region.

    But what is more disturbing is that the drug flow to Europe is undermining every effort that we are making to reduce production in Colombia, thus destroying any hope for peace and stability in that region.

    Since Mr. Coble outlined the problem in detail, I wish only to take a short moment here to offer some possible strategies that can be readily adopted by Europe and the United States to stem the flow of drugs and perhaps prevent the kind of drug-abuse epidemic characterized by increased crime rates, high body counts and broken communities that we have suffered here. I hope somebody in Europe might be paying attention, because they ought to be here today.

    First, I would like to, as I said, air my disappointment that the European Union has again declined to participate in such an important hearing. This decision follows a November of 2004 request when we asked the Europeans to dialogue with us on this very issue. Then, like now, we were rebuffed. With 50 percent of Colombian cocaine going to Europe, it is hard to fathom their apparent lack of interest.
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    It is clear that drug trafficking is no longer just an American problem. It is a global problem that will require a concerted effort on the part of the Colombians, the Europeans and the United States to resolve.

    To do this, the Congress, the State Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration must actively engage our European allies to recognize the drug problem that they are suffering and encourage them to become active players in the development and pursuit of real solutions.

    Europe, if you are listening, you can no longer sit on the sidelines.

    When Plan Colombia was first developed, it was believed that the European Union would make good on its funding pledge and support the non-security portions of the plan. This was the so-called ''soft side'' assistance would have included alternative development, educational initiatives, job training programs and other programs designed to support farmers and others who would leave the drug production business in Colombia and elsewhere.

    But much of the pledged assistance has never arrived. Now, 6 years later, the U.S. continues to pay the lion's share of aid to Colombia, despite the fact that nearly half of all Colombian cocaine is going to Europe.

    It is time for Europe to revisit its previous commitment to the soft-side assistance and begin a long-term relationship with Colombia. For example, over the last few years, more than 40,000 members of the narcoterrorist groups FARC and AUC have laid down their arms and are looking to re-enter society and become good citizens with honorable work.
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    The European Union could contribute the necessary resources to provide these most likely unskilled and untrained young demobilized Colombians to have the education, job training and other skills that they need to contribute to society.

    I would like to thank the Dutch government for building a demobilization center in Bogota, which now supports 600 demobilized fighters. We could use a lot more help like this from the European Union.

    Moreover, European law enforcement and other governmental agencies in Europe can follow the lead of Spain as it works to develop a joint European-Colombian law enforcement liaison center in Lisbon, Portugal, much like our Joint Interagency Task Force Center in Key West, Florida.

    Putting such a center in Europe would allow law enforcement officials from all over Europe to jointly operate with law enforcement representatives from Colombia, Brazil and the DEA here in the United States, where intelligence can be shared and cooperative strategies to interdicting drugs can be developed.

    To be successful, the U.S. Department of State should provide assistance and operational support for the new international police liaison center. In addition, all major seizures of cocaine in Europe should be tested by DEA to see if it is originating in Colombia, Peru or Bolivia. By taking these simple actions and developing other cooperative programs, the tide of drugs washing up on European soil can be reduced.

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    Europe is on the verge of a cocaine epidemic of historic and tragic proportions. It is my hope that, by holding this hearing, our friends and allies in Europe will receive the message that it is high time to act and that their American allies will stand with them to battle this deadly and mutual enemy.

    I agree with Mr. Calvani from the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, whose testimony includes this quote: ''The international community and the United States must share the responsibility for reducing the world's biggest supply of cocaine. Cocaine-consuming nations need to reduce drug demand, especially in Europe, where abuse is rising rapidly.''

    I ask unanimous consent that the letter sent by the E.U. declining our invitation to testify in this hearing be entered in the record, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Chairman, we have President Musharraf of Pakistan here, and I have to run to that luncheon, but I will return just as soon as the luncheon is concluded.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman. And, without objection, that will be made a part of the record.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. COBLE. I am now pleased to recognize the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, the Ranking Member of our Subcommittee, Mr. Bobby Scott.

    Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you, Chairman Burton and Ranking Member Engel, our colleagues from the International Relations Subcommittee, in convening the hearing on the growing threat of cocaine in Western Europe.
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    It is my hope that Europeans will actually do a better job than we have done in the United States in employing cost-effective strategies in reducing the threat and impact of cocaine and other illicit drugs.

    In our so-called war on drugs, we have spent billions of dollars annually over 20 years on supply-control strategies, such as interdiction and law enforcement. At the same time, we have spent very little comparatively on education and treatment and other demand-reduction strategies, despite the fact that all research shows those to be the most cost-effective strategies by far in reducing illicit drug use.

    If our goal is to reduce drug use, we should review the 1994 RAND study on controlling cocaine, when they estimated the relative value and cost-effectiveness of four cocaine control programs. Those four are source control, interdiction, domestic law enforcement, and treatment.

    This study answered the question: How much would Government have to spend on each approach to decrease cocaine consumption in the United States by 1 percent?

    In brief, the study showed that, compared to treatment, it cost seven times more to achieve the same result with domestic law enforcement. It cost 10 times more to get those results with interdiction, and 23 times more to achieve the results using the strategy of source control.

    The RAND study found that to achieve the 1 percent reduction in cocaine use required $34 million if you use treatment; $246 million for domestic law enforcement; $366 million using interdiction; and $783 million if you use a strategy of source control to achieve the same 1 percent reduction in cocaine use.
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    To be sure, there have been increasing successes on source control, interdiction and law enforcement over the years. Plan Colombia, on which the United States has spent billions, and other crop eradication strategies such as the U.N. strategies we will hear about today, have been a significant success.

    However, during the same period, we have seen a steady increase in production and supply, such that the quantity has actually gone up in many areas and the price has actually gone down.

    There have been indications that there may have been declines in United States use, but that is not because of a reduction in supply. That is because the nature of the problem we are dealing with is that even if you achieve a 90 percent supply-side reduction, 10 percent is still available, and that 10 percent is so profitable that you can continue the trade.

    Because the cost of the product is so low compared to the cost at retail, illicit drug distributors know, just like distributors in any other products know, that they can lose as much as 90 percent of their cargo and still make a profit if 10 percent gets through.

    So we must do something more than just be successful on the supply-side control strategies to reduce and control illegal drug use.

    Now, I am not saying that we should reduce anything we are now doing. Clearly, we must address criminal violation of our drug laws. However, I am saying that we have the ability to move forward from here based on knowledge and experience which shows that we should be pursuing research-based strategies using all of our approaches, which will actually reduce drug supply and use, with the attention to the cost-effectiveness.
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    Clearly, our strategy of knocking off the big drug cartels has not worked to reduce either supply or use. And ironically, it appears that we may have actually increased the supply, in that, with big ruthless cartels gone, we have many smaller cartels and individual distributors who are even more elusive than the large cartels were.

    So, Mr. Chairman, I believe our advice to our European colleagues in addressing the growing threat of cocaine is to draw from our successes, failures, our research and knowledge in crafting appropriate responses.

    I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses, and thank you for convening the hearing.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank you, Mr. Scott.

    And I am now pleased to recognize the distinguished gentleman from New York, the Ranking Member from the International Relations Committee, Mr. Engel.

    Mr. ENGEL. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank you and Chairman Burton for calling this important hearing, and my colleague, Bobby Scott, as well.

    Today's Joint Subcommittee hearing focuses on the need for European assistance to Colombia for the fight against illicit drugs. I think it is good that we are having this joint hearing. I think it highlights the importance that we attach to this issue to have two Subcommittees from two different Committees holding this hearing.
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    Obviously, stemming the trade in illicit narcotics is an important topic that affects us all. It requires all nations to participate fully if we are to roll back the tide of drug violence and illegal drug abuse.

    I am glad that our Subcommittee, in particular with Chairman Burton, has been using the prism of our Subcommittee to shine a bright light on the problem. It is important to hold our Government's feet to the fire to make sure we are doing everything possible to stop the flow of cocaine and other drugs from Colombia. And I want to particularly thank Dan Burton for his diligence and his interest.

    But I think we have to be careful. I think we obviously need the cooperation of Europe in many endeavors around the world. We have a large number of shared interests with our European allies, many of which rise to the level of vital strategic concerns for the United States: We are working together to halt Iran's quest for nuclear weapons. Our troops are fighting shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan to stamp out the Taliban. We have troops under joint command in Kosovo, where final status talks will soon reach their conclusion. And the lists of shared interests of the highest order goes on from there.

    So I think I would like to emphasize our similarities and our shared interests, rather than highlight any kind of differences.

    So I welcome the spirit of this hearing. With the enormous range of shared strategic interests, it is possible that we could also promote the goal of encouraging more European Union cooperation in the fight against the Colombian drug trade, not only through hearings, but through quiet meetings and intensified diplomacy.
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    I am also a Member of the Europe Subcommittee, Co-Chair of the European Union Caucus, and former Vice-Chair for the U.S.-European Union Transatlantic Legislative Dialogue. I believe, again, that it is important to have those dialogues.

    And I hope that today's hearing will be viewed positively on the other side of the Atlantic, because I know this hearing is meant to be positive and helpful.

    So, with that, I will again say that I share everyone's interest in this problem. At a previous hearing, I raised the question about Europe's effort in the fight against drugs. I fully agree that this is a matter worth exploring. In the days and weeks ahead, I have proposed that we work together to approach our European allies.

    And I look forward to the testimony of today's witnesses.

    Again, I hope that this hearing highlights the similarities and what we are doing together to combat illicit drugs. Obviously, it is never enough; we always need to be more intense and to continue to work together. But I would like to emphasize our joint interests and our joint cooperation, rather than say, ''You guys aren't doing what you should be doing,'' because I think that we have much greater interests in working together.

    And I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Engel.

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    Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the distinguished lady from Florida, has requested permission for her statement to be made a part of the record. And, without objection, it will be done.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Chairman, if I might?

    Mr. COBLE. Yes, sir?

    Mr. ENGEL. I also have something from Congressman Sam Farr, who was a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Colombia. And he also has a statement and some questions that I would like unanimous consent to insert into the record.

    Mr. COBLE. Without objection, that will be done.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. COBLE. Gentlemen, it is the practice of the Subcommittee to swear in all witnesses appearing before it, so if you would please stand and raise your right hands.

    [Witnesses sworn.]

    Mr. COBLE. Let the record show that each witness answered in the affirmative.
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    You may be seated.

    We have three distinguished witnesses with us today—well, actually four, but one will not be testifying.

    Our first witness is Mr. Michael Braun, Chief of Operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Since joining the DEA in 1985, he has also served as its Deputy Assistant Administrator for Intelligence and interim Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Intelligence Fusion Center.

    In June 2003, Mr. Braun was detailed to the Department of Defense for a special assignment in Iraq as the chief of staff for the Interim Ministry of Interior Coalition Provisional Authority, where he assisted in creating the new Iraqi National Police Service and customs and border agencies.

    Mr. Braun holds a B.S. degree in criminal justice from the Southeast Missouri State University and attended the Senior Managers in Government Program at Harvard University.

    Our second witness today is Dr. Sandro Calvani, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Dr. Calvani previously served as director of the United Nations Drug Control Program regional office for the Caribbean, with responsibility for U.N. drug control coordination in 29 countries and territories.

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    Under his leadership, UNDCP facilitated the development of the Barbados Plan of Action, an integrated drug control program for one of the largest regions in the world, endorsed and sponsored by more than 40 nations.

    He is the author of 16 books on substantial development and development education and has been repeatedly quoted and interviewed on drug trafficking in the Americas by leading publications across the globe.

    Dr. Calvani received his M.S. in biological sciences at the University of Genoa, pursued post-graduate studies at Colorado State University, the University of Louvain in Belgium, and Harvard University.

    Our final witness is the Honorable Rosso José Serrano, who is here in absentia. Ambassador Serrano has been a figure in the war against illegal drugs in the United States, Bolivia, Germany, Great Britain and, finally, the Dominican Republic.

    Prior to entering the diplomatic arena, he concluded 45 years of service with the Colombian National Police Force in the position of general director. As director of the MPS Anti-Drug Unit, Ambassador Serrano distinguished himself in the fight against drug trafficking by initiating the fumigation of illegal crops in Colombia, which produced considerable results. He declared a direct national fight against criminal organizations, especially those involved in drug trafficking, which resulted in the dismantlement of the notorious Cali cartel.

    Ambassador Serrano holds a Ph.D. in law and politics at the University of LaGrande, Colombia.
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    Unfortunately, the ambassador could not be with us today, and reading his statement and taking questions will be Major Raul Fernando Lopez of the Colombian National Police.

    And, Mr. Lopez, who is your colleague to your left?

    Major LOPEZ. Lieutenant Colonel Tuahiti, head of the National Interdiction Unit for the Colombian National Police.

    Mr. COBLE. And it is good to have you with us too, sir.

    Gentlemen, we operate around here on the 5-minute rule, as you all have previously been told. We have examined your statements. And when you see the amber light appear on the panel before you, that is your warning that the ice on which you are skating is becoming thin. You will have a minute to go. When the red light appears, your 5 minutes have expired, and no one will be keelhauled at that point, but if you could wrap up when you see the red light appear.

    And then Mr. Scott and I impose the 5-minute rule against ourselves, as well, so when we ask you all a question, if you could reply as tersely as possible.

    We thank you very much for being here.

    And, Mr. Braun, why don't you kick us off?

TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL BRAUN, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS, U.S. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
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    Mr. BRAUN. Thank you, sir.

    Good morning, Chairman Coble, Chairman Burton, Ranking Member Scott, Ranking Member Engel, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittees.

    On behalf of administrator Karen Tandy, I want to thank you for your continued support of the men and women that make up the ranks of the DEA. And I want to thank you, as well, for the opportunity to testify about the cocaine flow from South America to Europe and DEA's cooperative efforts with our European counterparts.

    DEA's international offices support our organizational attack strategy by focusing our efforts on the world's most notorious drug trafficking syndicates. Cocaine trafficking in Europe is directly linked to South American and Mexican drug trafficking kingpins, the same kingpins that the DEA has in its crosshairs.

    DEA's activities in Europe and around the world are seamless and support our single most important strategic objective: to disrupt and dismantle the world's most notorious and wanted drug trafficking organizations that are impacting the United States and our allies.

    Let me take just a minute to describe in part how Colombian and Mexican global drug trafficking syndicates operate.

    First and foremost, they rule by fear. They rely heavily on the hallmarks of organized crime: corruption, intimidation and brutal violence.
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    They will start with corruption. If that doesn't work—and by the way, they have hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal to corrupt with—then they will turn to intimidation, sometimes subtle intimidation, other times with outright defiance in public.

    If intimidation doesn't work, then they turn to brutal violence, never to be outdone by any of the global terrorist organizations, by the way. They are just as brutal.

    Their organizational structures are incredibly sophisticated. In fact, they are identical to global terrorist organizations. And they have evolved that way to thwart law enforcement.

    The corporate headquarters are established south of the border, oftentimes in palatial surroundings where that corruption angle allows them to operate in such a fashion. They have established command and control cells on our side of the southwest border and now in various locations across Europe and West Africa.

    Those command and control cells receive daily guidance and direction from corporate headquarters. The command and control cells in turn provide daily guidance and direction to subordinate cells responsible for drug distribution, transportation, security and money laundering. These subordinate cells, the worker bees, if you will, are working all over our country and throughout Europe, West Africa and elsewhere. They are so highly compartmentalized that if law enforcement takes down just one cell or a few cells, we have virtually no impact on the larger organization in whole.

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    How do they do it? They rely on the latest in technology to communicate that guidance and direction at every step of the way, as their drugs move in one direction and as the money flows in another. They also rely on the latest in technology to navigate, to move their drug loads to virtually any place on the globe with pinpoint accuracy. They operate most effectively in weak nation-states, and they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt in these environments.

    Like any Fortune 500 organization, global drug trafficking syndicates are always searching for new markets. And Colombian traffickers hit the powerball jackpot when they expanded their operations into Europe.

    A kilogram of cocaine that sells for $20,000 in the United States easily sells for $75,000 or more in some places in Europe. And I am not talking about the movement of tens of kilograms of cocaine. I am talking about multi-ton quantities.

    It is important to understand that those who are ultimately responsible for trafficking cocaine in Europe are also the same kingpins responsible for trafficking cocaine in the United States.

    Thanks to our outstanding relations with our European law enforcement agencies and many others in the global law enforcement community, we have experienced tremendous success in disrupting and dismantling global drug trafficking syndicates.

    By working closely with our foreign counterparts, to include the sharing of highly sensitive leads, we add value to their investigations, they add value to ours. The end result is maximum impact against those responsible for global drug trafficking organizations.
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    We press forward our organizational attack strategy throughout our ranks. Virtually all of our major investigations eventually lead us to these same targets abroad.

    Thanks to you, no other nation in the world has more strict drug laws than the United States, and the stiff sentencing guidelines that accompany those laws are feared the world over.

    The last thing that any global drug trafficker wants—and I want to stress this—the last thing that any global drug trafficker wants to face is justice meted out in a United States courthouse.

    And by the way, our foreign counterparts—I don't want to speak for Major Fernandez, but our foreign counterparts deeply appreciate those very strict drug laws and stiff sentencing guidelines that all of you have enacted. And that is something that you should all be very, very proud of.

    In summation, sir, I would simply say that there is one other troubling factor that I would be more than happy to talk about as we move deeper into these discussions, and that is the close nexus between drugs and terrorism. I am convinced in my mind, after 32 years of this business, you cannot fight one without fighting the other and expect to win.

    Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Braun follows:]
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PREPARED STATEMENT OF MICHAEL A. BRAUN

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    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Braun. And, by the way, we will continue to dialogue with you on this. This will not conclude after we adjourn today, I can assure you. Thank you, sir.

    Mr. BRAUN. Thank you.

    Mr. COBLE. Dr. Calvani?

TESTIMONY OF SANDRO CALVANI, REPRESENTATIVE, UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF DRUGS AND CRIME, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

    Mr. CALVANI. Chairman Coble, Chairman Burton, Ranking Members Mr. Scott and Mr. Engel, good morning. Thank you for the invitation for briefing the Members of the two Committees on issues so relevant for global human security.

    Since two of the world's most distinguished law enforcement institutions are here and they are going to report on the proper enforcement measures, which I share, I will limit my 5-minute introduction to two of the key points which I presented in my briefing which has been distributed to you.
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    The first one is a warning sign coming out of the increase of area under cultivation, 6,000 hectares last year, despite large-scale eradication, 139,000 hectares which have been air-sprayed. It is a warning signal to the Colombian government and to those that have participated in the joint drug control efforts.

    The signal should alert us to refine drug control policies in Colombia in order to take into account the more challenging security environment and the inevitable difficulty of destroying coca fields fragmented in size, now around one hectare per field, dispersed on steep mountain slopes, embedded in protected national parks, and grown in proximity to international borders.

    The overriding strategy of putting an end to the coca cultivation through eradication must be pursued relentlessly. However, there should be a change in tactics, using finer and more sustainable instruments.

    In particular, the second strong popular mandate received by President Uribe should make it possible for his new government to launch a major drive in favor of greater assistance to farmers in coca cultivation areas, accompanied by structural policies devised to redistribute land, especially land seized from drug lords, to internally displaced people.

    In Colombia, like in other countries, poverty in the countryside and lack of government control in many areas enable large-scale illicit activities and the resulting violence. Wide air-spraying remains cost-effective and keeps pressure on insurgents and organized crime.
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    Coca farmers need to be convinced to eradicate their own fields. Eradication backed by strong economic incentives would give farmers a greater sense of ownership in the government's zero-coca policy and increase the chance of long-term success.

    My second point that I want to stress is the Colombian president's new program, Forest Warden Families Programme. The main objective is to motivate farmers to abandon illicit crops. Every family receives $265 per month for a 3-year period.

    We have recently evaluated this program, and we have found surprising data: 82 percent of coca crops are eliminated for good. They never recur in the area where the program is present; 23 percent of the reforestation; 66 percent of the direct beneficiaries are women.

    Twenty thousand million pesos, which is more or less $8 million, has been used by these families to finance their own development projects. This is more than what they receive of aid from Germany and the United Kingdom together.

    Twenty-five percent of the families bought lands, which means 32,000 hectares. This is more than what has been done by the National Land Reform Institute in 4 years.

    Zero-nine percent of these families would consider a possibility to return to illicit crops as an economic subsistence or response to any problem. That means that 99.1 percent of these people don't want to go back to illicit crops.

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    That means that it is possible, if we reach one-third of the families who are doing coca, it is possible to reach the other two-thirds and reach 100,000 families who are now dealing with coca.

    Due to very low international aid, in particular by Europe, we have reached so far only 20 percent of the population producing illicit crops.

    As you have stated, Chairman Burton, the national community and the United States must continue to share the responsibility for reducing the world's biggest supplies of cocaine. And cocaine-consuming nations need to reduce direct demand, especially in Europe where this abuse is thriving.

    The United Nations is there to help and to serve all its member countries in this undertaking and this endeavor.

    Thank you very much.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Calvani follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF DR. SANDRO CALVANI(see footnote 1)

    The world's appetite for cocaine remains stable but uneven, declining in the United States while increasing in Europe. In 2005 more than two thirds of the supply came from Colombia (640 tons), where coca cultivation increased by 8% over 2004: a discouraging outcome taking into account the resolute efforts of the Colombian Government to eradicate this illicit cultivation.
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    However, this increase should be kept in perspective. The overall level of coca cultivation in Colombia remains almost 50% below the peak recorded in 2000. Furthermore, country-wide aerial eradication has become more difficult due to a growingly aggressive insurgency fuelled by the narco-economy (and vice versa).

    The two major armed groups are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), on the extreme political left, and the United Self-Defence of Colombia (AUC), also called the 'paramilitaries' on the extreme right. The armed groups monopolize the purchase and sale of cocaine base and poppy latex and determine the taxes it charges to the traffickers, to the laboratories, the landing strips and the ''gramaje''. They also guarantee territorial control for the production. The armed groups promote illicit cultivation in their areas of influence because the income from drug trafficking provides the hard currency required in the international arms market. Therefore, the two illegal adversaries, the guerillas and the paramilitary, engage in a continuous and fierce fight to secure their income and finance their operations. According to a National Planning Department study, the FARC obtains 60% of its income from drug trafficking and the AUC has recognized that most of their financing depends on drug trafficking. Reportedly, for each dollar of cocaine sold in any of the streets in the world, 10 to 15 cents end up in the hands of Colombia's armed groups to continue financing the war.

    The perverse vicious circle of drug trafficking-illegal crops-violence has resulted in a heavy burden on social and economic development. During the past ten years the country's financial resources were squeezed to provide greater resources to combat the narcoterrorism nexus and the resulting problems such as human rights violations, corruption, political instability and environmental destruction, in detriment of social and productive investment.
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    On the other hand, the UNODC study about productivity of coca fields and processing of coca base, suggest that there is more cocaine on the international market than previously believed. This may help explain why the price for cocaine has not gone up and the purity of doses has not decline on the streets of consuming nations, despite the halving in cultivation since 2000, the massive number of labs destroyed (1.953 in Colombia alone in 2005), and the dramatic (and still under-appreciated) increase in seizures world wide.

    Clearly, the 2005 increase of the area under cultivation (6.000 ha) despite large-scale aerial eradication (139.000 ha) is a warning signal to the Colombian government and to those, that have participated in the joint drug control efforts.

    This signal should alert us to refine drug control policies in Colombia in order to take into account the more challenging security environment, and the inevitable difficulty of destroying coca fields fragmented in size, dispersed on steep mountain slopes, embedded in protected national parks, and grown in proximity to international borders.

    The overriding strategy of putting an end to coca cultivation through eradication must be pursued relentlessly. However, there should be a change in tactics using finer and more sustainable instruments. In particular, the second strong popular mandate received by President Uribe should make it possible for his new government to launch a major drive in favour of greater assistance to farmers in coca cultivation areas, accompanied by structural policies devised to redistribute land (especially land seized from drug lords) to internally displaced people. In Colombia, like in other countries, poverty in the countryside and lack of government control in many areas enable large-scale illicit activities and the resulting violence.
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    While aerial spraying is cost-effective and keeps pressure on insurgents and organized crime, coca farmers need to be convinced to eradicate their own fields. Voluntary eradication backed up by strong economic incentives would give farmers a grater sense of ownership in the government's zero-coca policies, and increase the chance of long-term success.

    Countries that have shown the best results in the fight against illicit cultivations have found that alternative development is the most effective and sustainable eradication strategy. Indeed, a good alternative development strategy guarantees that the producer himself will destroy the illegal crops and will replace them with legal ones. Moreover, when this new activity is tied to a sustainable and profitable economy, the producer will not revert to growing illicit crops in a new location. Providing farmers legal and profitable alternatives and improving the living conditions in rural areas, villages and urban centers in regions affected by illicit cultivation proved to be the most effective socio-economic interventions, in order to reduce the scope of organized crime and their potential and indirect engagement in the conflict. The results of alternative development are not immediate but they are indeed sustainable.

    Alternative development policies are rather new in Colombia, if compared with the situation in other countries. As a consequence, they are permanently adjusted to the new strategic priorities of the government and to the new scenarios that predominate.

    The Colombian government has an innovative Programme of voluntary elimination of illicit crops and alternative development, called: ''Forest Warden Families Programme''. The main objective is to motivate farmers to keep their land free of illicit crops. The Programme also aims to recover the forest in areas that are ecologically and socially vulnerable. The government and the families involved should sign a contract, which establishes monthly payments of US$265 per family for a three years period. The Forest Warden Families Programme has two main components: First of all, the environmental component deals with the preservation of the environment. This involves technical support of expert entities, thus, training families on the establishment of productive and sustainable projects. The second component deals with the increase of the social capital, by a permanent training of families in community saving, leadership, and projects managements among others.
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    The selection criteria for the areas of each project is based on the identification of a number of districts within one or two municipalities that constitute a geographic unit along with the commitment of the inhabitants to keep all farms of his own district free of illicit crops. A break of this commitment from just one family in a given district implies the withdrawal of all families of that district from the Programme.

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Colombia works on the close monitoring of this Programme bringing greater cohesion to UNODC's priorities and strategies on the elimination of illicit crops. Recently, UNODC could inform the Colombian president, Mr. Uribe, that the Programme had achieved a reduction of 82% on coca crops and an increase of 23% on reforestation. Besides, 66% of the direct beneficiaries are women. As a result, farmers across the country have saved 20 thousand million pesos (Aprox. 8 million dollars) to finance alternative development projects. In addition, these families have been able to buy their own land with the salary they receive monthly. 25% of the families bought lands during the PFGB (around 32,000 hectares) resulting of 7,500 new families with their own land. Among the warden families only 0,9% would consider a possibility of returning to illicit crops as an economic subsistence.

    Moreover, UNODC has fully supported the Alternative development projects of the Colombian government. After various years of technical assistance in the field of human security in Colombia, UNODC can conclude from that experience that its projects have contributed to the generation of a strong local social and human capital in the areas with a greater presence of illicit cultivation. The process to form social capital has focused on strengthening peasant organizations in the eight most affected departments: Cauca, Nariño, Putumayo, Caquetá, Guaviare, Meta, Bolívar and in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. As a result, today all the producers' organizations have marketing agreements for their products and they participate actively in the planning and development institutions in their departments.
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    The UNODC projects have achieved: From 1996 to date more than 8,000 peasant families have benefited from alternatives such as double purpose livestock breeding (meat and milk), forestry and traditional crops such as coffee, cacao, plantains, fruits and palm hearts, among others. The products of the alternative development projects in Colombia are known in Colombia as ''Peace Products'' due to the evident positive effects which they produce in the country.

    It is considered that if the creation of rural businesses which produce traditional crops such as coffee, beans, cacao, plantain, fruit, palm hearts, forestry, among others, and at the same time the support of the private sector can be relied upon for the commercialization of these products, we will be achieving more sustainable and successful policies against drugs in Colombia. For the time being, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has managed to sign marketing agreements with nationwide supermarkets such as Carrefour, CAFAM and Éxito-Casino and at the same time count on the support of commercial European organizations like Andines (in France) to support the elimination of illicit cultivations of coca and poppy.

    The drug problem is not only a Colombian problem. It required shared responsibility at world level, of the countries with high levels of consumption, of those countries which facilitate trafficking routes, of those who launder the proceeds or produce the necessary base chemicals for the production of cocaine or heroin.

    The collaboration provided for the marketing of alternative producers, for the so-called ''Peace Products'', will be very valuable as it will allow the reduction of monies received by armed groups in Colombia, and slow down the advance of illicit cultivations into environmental ecosystems that are priceless to humanity.
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    We estimate that approximately 6,000 hectares of illegal crops have been eradicated and more than 50,000 hectares of legal cultivations have been installed by UNODC projects. The commercialization agreements with the private sector have generated important changes of the socioeconomic and market conditions. In fact, with a permanent ''demand'' for legal products in the same producing areas and the possibilities to compete against the illegal crops became real and the concept of 'illicit crop-free economy' became self-evident and no longer an abstract dream, former illicit crop producers have now abandoned for good any form of illegality and informality. They have become proud shareholders of sustainable and successful peasant companies. Carrefour and UNODC professionals could not ask for a bigger prize.

    Yet, despite of the facts mentioned before, most of the alternative development projects have not achieved to consolidate an economic alternative to more than 20% of the population producing illicit crops. It is calculated that about 100.000 families live in Colombia with coca crops; thus, more international support is crucial in order to eliminate narco-traffic in Colombia. In the past decade, United States funds have been of great support (US$7 million = 42% of UNODC/Colombia total funds compared to 58% of Europe as a whole) but yet more international contribution is necessary to win the war against drugs (See Attachment 1).

    The international community and the United States must share the responsibility for reducing the world's biggest supply of cocaine. Cocaine consuming nations need to reduce drugs demand, especially in Europe where abuse is rising.

    Thank you very much.

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Attachment 1

INTERNATIONAL DONORS 2

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    2\ This information is only referent to international donor's contribution, without taking into consideration Colombia as a donor. However, Colombia is an important economic donor of UNODC/Colombia.

    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Dr. Calvani. I appreciate that.

    Major Lopez?

TESTIMONY OF MAJOR RAUL FERNANDO LOPEZ, COLOMBIAN NATIONAL POLICE, ON BEHALF OF THE HONORABLE ROSSO JOSE SERRANO, AMBASSADOR OF COLOMBIA IN AUSTRIA AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN VIENNA

    Major LOPEZ. Mr. Chairman, distinguished Congressmen, I want to thank you for the invitation to attend the hearing today. I want to thank you for allowing me to read General Serrano's statement. I am going to read the most important facts.

    I will seize the opportunity to express my gratitude for the great support that the Congress and the Government of the United States has given Colombia and its government to neutralize drug trafficking in my country, and especially for the support rendered to the National Police of Colombia.
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    I have witnessed at first-hand the ill-fated evolution of the global problem of illicit drugs. Now, as permanent representative to the United Nations office in Vienna, I have to come to grasp with the global panorama of this scourge from another and clearer perspective.

    It is undeniable that progress has been made. The international community is beginning to understand that this phenomenon is by nature transnational and that it is consequently necessary to confront it in a joint, supportive, committed manner. The times where countries pointed to each other have passed, and now we are in the era of shared responsibility.

    Transnational drug trafficking is an ever-changing phenomenon. Drug traffickers are constantly modifying their operations in order to mock the authorities, who do not always have the necessary capacity to adapt or to react.

    These delinquents live in a permanent search for the line of least resistance in order to introduce their drug to those markets where control is most weak. This is what we see in the case of cocaine in Europe and other regions.

    The statistics contained in the 2006 World Drug Report, published by the United Nations, clearly shows a tendency toward consumption increase of cocaine in Europe—Spain and the United Kingdom being the most affected.

    A particularly dramatic case is Spain, whose annual prevalence of cocaine use among the population between 15 and 64 years increased from 1.6 percent in 1997 to 2.7 percent in 2003. In the United Kingdom, the annual prevalence went from 0.3 percent in 1992 to 2.4 percent in 2004.
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    These statistics are based on government surveys and demand for treatment in specialized centers. A similar study was carried by scientists of the Mario Negri Institute of Milan for Pharmaceutical Investigations, who took water samples from the Thames River. The results suggest that at different points in the river, cocaine consumption could be between 8 and 15 times above the official estimates.

    These results allow for the supposition that the statistics that are officially administered concerning cocaine consumption in the main European cities are a pale reflection of the worrying reality.

    In its 2005 report, the International Narcotics Control Board indicated, ''The total volume of cocaine seizures in Europe continues to grow, which might indicate that the illegal use of this substance is widespread. Increase in the demand for treatment of cocaine addiction in Western Europe also indicates this situation.''

    The greater part of cocaine destined for Europe enters via Spain or the Netherlands, although in recent years its entry via other countries with less important ports has increased. Spain is a thermometer that allows measurement of the tendencies in the rest of Europe. It is the principal entry port of cocaine on the continent. The greatest part of cocaine seizures in Europe occur in this country, and it is the third country worldwide in drug seizures.

    In view of the improvement of authority control, drug traffickers have developed new routes. An increase of trafficking via African countries has been evidenced, and also the creation of alliances between mafias and the use of traditional routes of other drugs such as cannabis, hashish and heroin.
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    Cocaine prices in Europe are also an important indicator of drug availability. According to the World Drug Report, a tendency toward the reduction of cocaine prices has been shown, as much in wholesale as in street price.

    In conclusion, it is important to caution the European Union of this serious problem, which has not been dimensioned in its true magnitude. If these countries do not take the necessary corrective measures, the cost they will have to assume in social costs and in terms of public health will be incalculable.

    It is necessary to make Europe aware of the high cost that Colombia is paying in trying to avoid that illicit drugs reach their markets. This effort must be compensated by a true will for demand reduction.

    The European Union should, in the framework of shared responsibility, increase its support and renew its commitment toward the battle of our country against illicit drugs.

    Drug trafficking is related to terrorism, and it is important to understand this relationship and to strike at this fountain of resources for terrorist groups.

    Thank you.

    [The prepared statement of Mr. Serrano follows:]

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PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ROSSO JOSÉ SERRANO

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    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Major.

    Mr. Braun, Portugal may exceed Spain as the leading gateway nation for Andean cocaine headed for Europe, yet DEA has no presence there. Does DEA plan to assign a permanent DEA agent or agents to the embassy of Portugal?

    Mr. BRAUN. We are looking into that, sir, right now.

    But I can tell you that, with respect to personnel and resources, we are strapped. We are under a hiring freeze right now and don't expect to be hiring any additional agents for probably the next couple of years.

    But we are looking at it. We are exploring it.

    I can tell you, the good news is that we visit Portugal on a regular basis. Our agents visit Portugal on a regular basis from our office in Madrid. And we will continue to do that.

    Mr. COBLE. Irrespective of where the cocaine from Colombia is headed, either here or Europe, what role are illegal drugs playing in financing the global terrorist movements? And are the consumer nations, like those now in Europe, helping to feed that financial support?
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    Mr. BRAUN. Thank you for the question, because this is something I am real passionate about. And if you can, let me just give you a 30,000-foot view of this nexus between drugs and terrorism that I believe is growing at rates faster than most want to admit.

    Eighteen of our nations, 42 global terrorist organizations, are tied to some aspect of drug trafficking activity. That can be something as simple as taxing farmers, or it can be terrorist organizations such as the FARC that are involved in virtually every aspect of the drug trade.

    State sponsorship, now, let's tie this part in. This is important. State sponsorship for terrorism is decreasing, and it has steadily decreased since after 9/11. And I believe the actions we took in Afghanistan and Iraq play a big part in that. That is one man's opinion. These organizations are being forced to seek out other ways to finance their operations.

    Many folks, my colleagues who are involved in counterterrorism, are saying that they are seeing less and less of a corporate terrorist cell structure, and what they are seeing more of now is a franchise cell structure.

    By that, I mean franchise cells that they may subscribe to the theories and the ideology of, say, the al-Qaeda or some other terrorist group, but for the most part they are not taking direct guidance and direction from corporate headquarters. They are pretty much out there on their own as a franchise. Those franchise cells absolutely have to fund their operations.

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    Now, let's talk about the estimates for global drug trade. The U.N. estimates, I believe—Doctor, correct me if I am wrong—but about $322 billion a year is generated in the global drug trade. ONDCP, closer to home, estimates that about $65 billion is generated right here in the United States by the global trade.

    If you look at what happened in Madrid, the Madrid train bombing was funded, my Spanish colleagues tell me, almost entirely by or through the sale of ecstasy and through hashish. It cost about $70,000 to pull that operation off. Again, you know, trying to put it all into perspective here.

    Something that is even more troubling to us is, let's just look at the tri-border area of South America. The experts agree it is a breeding ground for terrorist organizations and potential terrorists. You can purchase a kilogram of finished cocaine product in the tri-border area for about $5,000 a kilogram. And that same kilogram can be sold in Saudi Arabia, Israel or the UAE for upwards of somewhere between $150,000 to $175,000 per kilogram.

    So, in essence, you can take, with a $35,000 investment in the tri-border area, you can take that investment in seven kilograms of cocaine, put it into one suitcase, a normal-size suitcase, and ship it to another part of the world, and you have $1 million in profit. Okay? That is extremely troublesome to us.

    Now, some——

    Mr. COBLE. My time has expired, Mr. Braun, so I may have to get back to you. We will have a second round.
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    And, Doctor, I will get with you and the major subsequently.

    But now I want to recognize the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Bobby Scott.

    Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I think your line of questioning really points out what we ought to be looking at, in terms of strategy.

    How much are we spending trying to do source control of drugs in Colombia?

    Mr. BRAUN. The United States?

    Mr. SCOTT. The United States.

    Mr. BRAUN. I don't have that number for you, sir, but I can certainly get it.

    Mr. SCOTT. A lot? Billions?

    Mr. BRAUN. Sure. I would say a lot.

    Mr. SCOTT. Billions?

    Mr. BRAUN. Over time, yes, certainly.
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    Mr. SCOTT. What is the trend in cocaine price on the street in the United States?

    Mr. BRAUN. The trends, I am guessing you are talking about price and purity? Pricing remains, I believe, about the same. And the purity, ONDCP has reported that the purity has declined. But the price, I believe, remains the same, or we may have even seen a slight increase.

    Mr. SCOTT. Well, if we are going to have a rational process, we ought to have some goal in mind in order to have some cost-effective measure.

    How much more would we have to spend to have a meaningful impact on the cost of cocaine on the street?

    Because if you are catching 10 percent or 20 percent or 50 percent, and the price of the product is a very small portion of the price on the street, how much would we have to catch or reduce coming into the United States to have a meaningful effect on the price of cocaine on the street? A lot? Can we get there?

    Mr. BRAUN. Look, I am convinced we can get there. If I wasn't convinced that we could get there, I would have——

    Mr. SCOTT. Well, you asked for some more money. I mean, are you representing that you can have a meaningful impact on the cost of cocaine on the street to the point where a drug addict approaches his dealer and the dealer says, ''Well, you know, I just can't get any, it's not available''?
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    Mr. BRAUN. Well, I don't measure it, quite honestly, by price and purity. I measure our success, the DEA's success, in more than one way. But, you know, we are——

    Mr. SCOTT. Well, tell me some ways that you measure your success.

    Mr. BRAUN. Well, we measure our success by the number of major drug trafficking syndicates that we have either significantly disrupted or the numbers that we have dismantled.

    Mr. SCOTT. And what difference did that make to the availability of drugs? I mean, I think our goal is to reduce drug use in the United States. When you bust a drug cartel, how much difference did that make?

    Mr. BRAUN. Okay, well, again, I don't base it on just price and purity. We have seen or experienced a reduction in the abuse of cocaine in the United States over the past few years. The most recent household survey from the University of Michigan indicates that, I believe for, like, a third straight year now, we have seen teenage abuse of cocaine continually decline.

    Mr. SCOTT. Now, how much of that can be attributable to what you are doing? And how much can be attributable to other things, the most cost-effective ways that we are dealing with drug abuse?
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    Mr. BRAUN. I don't know if there is any way that we can determine exactly what credit enforcement would receive versus prevention and education or treatment.

    Mr. SCOTT. Well, if the cost hasn't gone down and the same amount of cocaine is available, the only variable appears to be demand. The supply will meet the demand. And that there is virtually nothing that you have done or propose to do that is going to affect the ability of the cocaine dealers to meet the demand. Is that right?

    Mr. BRAUN. Look, here is what I believe most experts would agree on: A successful strategy is a three-legged stool. Enforcement has to be relentless and aggressive. You can't back away from it. You have to have prevention and education, and you also have to have treatment.

    Mr. SCOTT. In my remarks, I mentioned that the costs of reducing drug use in the United States can be achieved, 1 percent reduction can be achieved with $34 million if you are dealing in treatment, but hundreds of millions, almost a billion, if you are trying interdiction.

    Doesn't it make more sense to invest the next dollar that we spend in prevention and not fund spinning your wheels doing interdiction and source control?

    Mr. BRAUN. I believe many experts would disagree with your figures and your numbers.
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    Mr. SCOTT. Okay. Do you have any study that disagrees with the RAND study of 1994?

    Mr. BRAUN. Off the top of my head, I don't have.

    Mr. SCOTT. Okay.

    Thank you.

    Mr. COBLE. The time of the gentleman has expired.

    The distinguished gentleman from Ohio. Mr. Chabot?

    Mr. CHABOT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for holding this important hearing.

    If I could start out by discussing a trip that I made with one of my colleagues, Judge Louie Gohmert. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to see first-hand what the situation is relative to the battle against drugs in Colombia.

    And I know, Major Lopez, we had an opportunity to meet there and saw and learned an awful lot. I want to thank you for that experience.

    One of the issues, I remember when we were flying over some of the national parks, we would see smoke, which was where the drug dealers had burned an area, and then they would plant cocaine there and then they would keep an eye on it and harvest it later on. It was in patches throughout the park.
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    And there is an aerial spraying program down there. And our Government, because of a policy—and my understanding of it is that especially European countries objected to spraying in parks, and they had sort of adopted that environmental protection attitude. And it made it very difficult to get at some of these places where the drug dealers were going literally into the parks and planting it on park land.

    And there were a number of instances where you had to go in and hand-eradicate, you know, pluck the plants out or chop them down or whatever one does to get rid of the stuff. And a number of the people doing that were either wounded or, in some cases, even killed, because it is a very dangerous endeavor and would be a lot safer if you could just hit that particular patch from the air.

    And it is basically my understanding it is like Roundup, the same stuff we use here in this country. So it is not like it is unknown what type of material one is using and it might be very dangerous or something.

    Could you discuss what the status is of that program relative to eradication from the air, especially with respect to the parks when the drug dealers go in there?

    And are you able to now hit those places from the air? Or do you still have to do this in the very expensive and time-consuming manner and dangerous manner of doing this by hand?

    Major LOPEZ. Sir, we just finished to spray one of the—not to spray. We were doing manual eradication in one of our national reserve parks, which was in the Macarena. That is in the east side of Colombia. There was about 2,000 hectares of coca. We were doing manual eradication.
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    Mr. CHABOT. And the manual eradication is doing it by hand?

    Major LOPEZ. Yes. We were doing it, but what we found out, sir, is that the terrorists were tying the landmines to the plants, so when the people were pulling the plants, they were getting blown up.

    Since January, we have lost 19 military soldiers. We lost 12 policemen and 18 civilians that were working with us on the Macarena park work.

    Mr. CHABOT. These were killed?

    Major LOPEZ. Were killed.

    Mr. CHABOT. Nineteen soldiers, 12 policemen and 18 civilians?

    Major LOPEZ. Yes, sir.

    Mr. CHABOT. So they would be pulling a plant up or chopping it down or whatever, and it would be boobytrapped with a mine?

    Major LOPEZ. Yes. In the last attack, it was a bomb. It was like a can full of explosives, and eight workers were killed.

    So, at the end, we had to spray, because a lot of our work people were at risk and a lot of our work people were being killed.
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    Mr. CHABOT. And it is much more expensive and time-consuming, as well as dangerous, to do it that way.

    Major LOPEZ. Yes, sir, because in order to do the manual eradication, we had to move a lot of policemen and soldiers just to do 2,000 hectares of coca manual eradication.

    Mr. CHABOT. Okay. Now, is the change to eradicating from the air, is that now the policy elsewhere as well?

    Major LOPEZ. That is something that had to be decided by our government. We just execute the policy, sir.

    Mr. CHABOT. Okay. Do you know what the government policy is at this point with respect to aerials? Or perhaps Dr. Calvani?

    Mr. CALVANI. Yes. This discussion has been held at the president level. The policy is still not to spray the national parks, continual manual eradication, with the only exception of Macarena for the reason that the major has explained.

    Mr. CHABOT. Okay. Because for what it is worth, just as an American legislator here—and we send a fairly significant amount of dollars down there, and we want the dollars to be used as efficiently as possible—I would strongly urge, it was the one thing I brought back that seemed, for both safety reasons for the people doing it and efficiency, that we ought to encourage that.
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    Mr. Braun, did you want to comment on that?

    Mr. BRAUN. Sir, I mean, with all due respect, eradication is about as far outside of my lane as possible. I am an enforcement guy, and I always have been.

    Look, I can tell you, though, that I think the most important point to be made here is that our counterparts, our Colombia National Police counterparts, whom we work very, very closely with, have shown, I think are a model, have shown that the Colombian people have the will to win.

    These guys and gals have lost over 3,000 police officers in just the past few years, but yet they go out and they continue to face that beast day in and day out.

    And they are winning. If you look at what is happening in Colombia, the numbers of bombings have been reduced significantly. The numbers of kidnappings have been reduced. The numbers of homicides have been reduced. The numbers of, I believe, even sex crimes, talking about rape, have been reduced. And that has all taken place over just the past few years.

    Mr. CHABOT. Okay. Thank you.

    Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent for an additional 2 minutes, if I could.

    Mr. COBLE. Without objection.
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    Mr. CHABOT. Okay. Thank you.

    With respect to what you just said, Mr. Braun, I also want to make that observation to Major Lopez, that we were all very impressed with the dedication of the personnel, both military and police personnel, that we met with. Everyone involved was just exemplary.

    And we had the opportunity to go, for example, to the police memorial with all the many, many, literally thousands, I believe, that have been killed. We went to the hospital and saw the most horrendous wounds that had been suffered by these very brave personnel.

    So we want to thank you and commend you and your fellow workers in that respect.

    Mr. Braun, if I could just conclude by asking you, the Europeans are planning a counter-drug liaison center in Lisbon, modeled after our JIATF in Key West. What role will DEA play in the center? And will you have a presence there in Lisbon?

    Mr. BRAUN. It is still in the planning stages, is my understanding, sir, and we have not been invited to participate. However, I am sure I will.

    The problem that we face is, once again I am going to go back to human resources, where we are having a tough time staffing domestic and foreign positions as we speak, because of the hiring freeze that we are under.

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    And, you know, I can tell you without any hesitation or reservation, however, that if this thing is stood up quickly and if we cannot have a permanent presence, if we find that we are not able to do it permanently, I assure you that we will have our folks from Madrid visiting the center on a regular basis. And I can assure you that the intelligence from the DEA will flow into that center, as we are doing daily with our European counterparts.

    Mr. CHABOT. Thank you.

    Mr. Chairman, as my time concludes, if I could just conclude by saying that we had an opportunity also at the American embassy in Bogota to discuss and talk about the three Americans that are still being held down there. And I know that everyone there and everyone is committed to trying to get them back here to their families as soon as possible, safely. So we want to encourage anything that we can do to help in that effort.

    Thank you.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman.

    The distinguished gentleman from New York, Mr. Engel?

    Mr. ENGEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I want to briefly talk a little bit about Plan Colombia. I want to start with Mr. Braun, in asking you, is the U.S. counter-drug strategy working in Colombia? Has the price and purity of cocaine decreased on the U.S. street since the inception of Plan Colombia? And could you briefly tell us a little bit about Plan Colombia?
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    Mr. BRAUN. Well, first of all, as far as the price and purity, again, I believe we need to have the experts from ONDCP here, or maybe at some future meeting, to discuss that. They are the folks that really track those numbers.

    But I can tell you, based on what I know from my Colombian counterparts and from personal experience back in the mid-1980's to almost the mid-1990's, I spent a lot of time in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, through the northern-tiered countries of Central America, working shoulder to shoulder with host-nation counterparts on counter-narcotics operations, hitting laboratories, cache sites, transshipment points, those kinds of things.

    And I can tell you that—and I believe our Colombian colleagues encounter this to this day; it has never changed—that when we hit the traffickers hard, they have the ability to re-establish operations. They have laboratories that lay dormant for perhaps months, if not years, that are ready to go if they take a major hit anywhere in that Andean region.

    And as long as you can produce cocaine finished product for $600 to $1,000 a kilogram and sell it in, let's just talk about our country, for, say, $20,000 or $25,000 a kilogram, there is a tremendous potential margin there. And they can quickly over-produce.

    So, again, I don't rely, as far as success, on price and purity. I don't think price and purity actually tells you a whole lot.

    Mr. ENGEL. Since you mentioned Peru and Bolivia, let me ask the major, to what extent has Plan Colombia resulted in drug cultivation increases in neighboring countries such as Peru and Bolivia?
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    Major LOPEZ. I don't have those numbers, sir.

    Mr. ENGEL. Okay. Do you have any feel about it? Has it resulted in increases?

    Major LOPEZ. Well, we have seen surveys that they are requesting more support from our units to go there and help them to support their operations, sir.

    Mr. ENGEL. All right. Thank you.

    Dr. Calvani, Plan Colombia has reportedly been controversial in Europe, especially among some European policymakers. Can you tell us what are some of the criticisms? And has European opinion shifted over time?

    Mr. CALVANI. Maybe I am not the best to report on that subject, however, living in Bogota. I regularly listen to the ambassadors of the European Union and the European Union member countries.

    The most common comment that they make is that the United States does not consult and the Colombian government does not consult with European members before deciding their own bilateral program. That is the reason why European members don't think that they are involved, or they can't share that kind of responsibility.

    Another issue is that they are willing to apply to Colombia the same measures of alternative development which have been successful in other countries, in more than 10 countries around the world, which have eliminated illicit trafficking in a sustainable way. The most recent experience being Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, where the United Nations has certified complete elimination of illicit crops after a sustained alternative development initiative.
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    I wish also to take this opportunity to answer a question by Mr. Scott to Mr. Braun before, with reference to how much the Colombian program has reduced the trafficking in Colombia.

    The study of the Colombian government has stated that only 9 percent of coca farmers now receive international assistance. While the coca crop has been eliminated completely through air-spraying, only 9 percent of the peasants have received the aid. The total value or the potential farm aid value of coca products in Colombia is $840 million U.S.

    So for Mr. Scott, this is actually what we have to replace. It is not the cost of trafficking, because that is money which does not come directly to Colombia. And presently we don't reach $200 million spent in alternative development. As I have stated in my introductory comments, we have to reach the other two-thirds of people who have not been reached.

    If we reach those people, those people really renounce for good. They never go back to the illicit crops. That is also demonstrated in the manual eradication program. In the manual eradication program, the level of re-cropping is extremely low.

    Mr. ENGEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman from New York.

    And we will start our second round of questioning now.

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    Dr. Calvani, I don't believe this has been asked to you. You mentioned that Colombian coca cultivation in 2005 increased by 8 percent over 2004. To what do you attribute the increase, A? And B, why has the eradication of coca become more difficult?

    Mr. CALVANI. It is difficult to have scientific evidence. However, from the 55 monitors we have in the field every day, they visited last year 1.5 million hectares, and they have a database of 32,000 families, interviewing all of these people.

    The result of this survey suggested that the reason why we got the very slight increase—I must remind you that this comes after a reduction of 51 percent of hectares in the last 5 years. So the trend was extremely down, then a little bit going up does not mean so much.

    Anyhow, this going up might be due to the fact that alternative development programs have been significantly reduced in the past years. The aid that we receive from the USAID has been reduced significantly. And we are no longer able to reach a significant part of the coca peasants.

    And that is also the reason why, since the demand has not gone down, particularly in Europe, that is the reason why the crop has also increased in the past years a bit in Peru and Bolivia. And the crop which has gone up in Colombia is now instead found an opposite balloon effect in Bolivia and Peru.

    And then the second question was?

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    Mr. COBLE. Why was it difficult?

    Mr. CALVANI. Why is it difficult? Because the people are moving inside the forests. Instead of having like they had before, two or three hectares per family, now they go inside the forest and they do very small crops. Now they are becoming one hectare. So it is very difficult to hit by air-spraying one hectare spread in 86,000 spots.

    Mr. COBLE. Yes. Thank you, Doctor.

    Major, I will really put this question to you. Mr. Braun may want to weigh in. The cocaine flow to Europe is massive, as we have learned. And Spain appears to be the main gateway point into Europe for those drugs.

    How many Spanish anti-drug police are in Bogota? And how often do you work with them, as you do our DEA?

    Major LOPEZ. Sir, at this moment, about 2 months ago, just one guy arrived. From DEA, it is about 125 DEA agents working with us on a daily basis.

    Mr. COBLE. One Spanish anti-drug?

    Major LOPEZ. Yes, sir.

    Mr. COBLE. Okay. And how many DEA agents are in Bogota?

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    Major LOPEZ. It is about 125.

    Mr. COBLE. About 125. Thank you, Major.

    Mr. Braun, let me put this question to you. What percentage of the cocaine seized by the excellent Colombian National Police at El Dorado Airport in Bogota is headed for Europe? And what does that tell us about trafficking trends?

    Mr. BRAUN. Sir, I believe it is about 80 to 85 percent of all the seizures at the airport are destined for Europe. I mean, I would have to stress that many of these are small quantities.

    Mr. COBLE. What was the percentage again?

    Mr. BRAUN. Somewhere between 80 and 85 percent.

    Mr. COBLE. Okay.

    Mr. BRAUN. These are small quantities, though. These are typically one to two or three kilograms that are body-carried onto a flight destined for somewhere in Europe.

    Mr. COBLE. This may sound like a stupid question, but does that tell us that consumption inevitably is being reduced in our country?

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    Mr. BRAUN. Well, again, the facts and figures clearly indicate that cocaine consumption is on the decline in the United States.

    Mr. COBLE. Well, common sense would tell me that, because heretofore we would have been the Europe beneficiary, in the older days.

    Mr. BRAUN. That is a good point. It appears to have shifted significantly.

    Mr. COBLE. Major, let me come back to you before my red light comes on. What are authorities in Bogota doing to dismantle the paramilitary groups and to cut off communication to their trafficking networks?

    Major LOPEZ. Excuse me, sir. Can you repeat the question, sir?

    Mr. COBLE. Yes. What are the authorities in Bogota doing to dismantle the paramilitary groups and to cut off communication to their trafficking networks?

    Major LOPEZ. Sir, we have been treating the AUC as FARC, and we doing operations against them, against their labs, their cultivation, sir. So we are getting very good results with them.

    Mr. COBLE. And you feel that it is effective?

    Major LOPEZ. Yes, sir. It is working.
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    Mr. COBLE. All right. I see the red light is in my eye. Now I will yield to my friend from Virginia, Mr. Scott.

    Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Again, our goal is to try to reduce the amount of drug use in the United States, and I think we are all looking at our districts.

    If we were to eliminate cocaine coming from Colombia, are there other sources of cocaine?

    Mr. BRAUN. All the cocaine in the world is being produced in the Andean region, primarily Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. So if you cut Colombia completely off, you are still faced with a flow out of Peru and out of Bolivia.

    Mr. SCOTT. Would that be sufficient to meet the demand in the United States?

    Mr. BRAUN. I am not sure. I would have to get back with you.

    Mr. SCOTT. We have heard suggestions that the cocaine use has been going down in the United States. Is that because people are using less drugs generally, or using meth, ecstasy, hash and other drugs instead?

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    Mr. BRAUN. I believe the numbers across the board are declining, but let me check with ONDCP and get back with you on that.

    Mr. SCOTT. Is the use of meth going up or down?

    Mr. BRAUN. Again, I would have to check with ONDCP.

    Mr. SCOTT. Could somebody comment on the health implications of the spraying program in Colombia? Is it healthy or unhealthy for the residents of Colombia to be subjected to all of the spraying? Are there health implications involved?

    Mr. CALVANI. A number of studies are available on the Internet, sir, done by reputable international organizations, including the Organization of American States, suggesting that, so far, it has not been possible to detect any unhealthy impact of the air-spraying.

    Also because, by the way, glyphosate, which is the substance used for spraying, is largely used in Colombia for other purposes. Ninety-percent of glyphosate used in Colombia is not air-spraying. It is normal agriculture use. And glyphosate is also largely used in the United States for normal control of golf courses, of cornfields and so on. It is a very common substance.

    Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Scott.
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    Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that a statement from Representative Barbara Lee be submitted for the record. And she had questions that she would like submitted to the witnesses. If these could be submitted on her behalf, I would appreciate it.

    Mr. COBLE. Without objection.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. COBLE. I would also like to make a part of the record the report on Progress in Colombia published by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Mr. John Walters, director.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. SCOTT. And, Mr. Chairman, a statement from the representative from Texas, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee. She has an opening statement she would like part of the record.

    Mr. COBLE. And that will also be made a part of the record.

    [The material referred to is available in the Appendix.]

    Mr. COBLE. If you all will suspend just a moment, John, what did you have to say?
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    I have some questions for Mr. Burton that I will ask. Mr. Scott and I may go a third round.

    Let me ask you all this before I forget it. Let me depart for a moment from Colombia. To what extent, if any, or what impact, if any, does organized crime in Russia have to do with the increased trafficking in Europe? Or do you know?

    Dr. Calvani may be in a position. Or do you know, Mr. Braun?

    Mr. BRAUN. Russian organized crime is not—I am not going to tell you that they are not involved in some trafficking in Europe, but they are not viewed as a significant threat in the trafficking of cocaine in Europe.

    Mr. COBLE. Okay. How about other drugs? Doctor, do you want to weigh in on that?

    Mr. CALVANI. Yes, I can confirm that. They are not involved in cocaine trafficking, but they are heavily involved in other drugs, including, in particular, heroin from Afghanistan.

    Mr. COBLE. Heroin?

    Mr. CALVANI. From Afghanistan.

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    Mr. COBLE. Yes. We know that Colombia, of course, is the main arsenal for cocaine. I assume that Afghanistan continues to be the main source of heroin. Is that correct? What would be the second-largest producer of heroin?

    Mr. CALVANI. Myanmar, sir.

    Mr. COBLE. Pardon?

    Mr. CALVANI. Myanmar, former Burma.

    Mr. COBLE. Okay. Thank you.

    Now, let me read this question for Mr. Burton. If the Colombians are getting two or three times more per kilo for cocaine in Europe than in the U.S. and we are reducing their cocaine production in the country, doesn't what we see happening in Europe with cocaine seriously undercut our Colombian policy and doesn't the DEA have to now change some thinking and staff allocations?

    This was from Mr. Burton.

    Mr. Braun?

    Mr. BRAUN. I am going to have to really think about that one long and hard, and——

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    Mr. COBLE. Well, and you can get back to him. We are going to leave the record open for 7 days.

    Mr. BRAUN. Yes, sir. We will get back with you on that.

    Mr. COBLE. The bell is sounding, which means we are going to be called to the floor.

    Mr. Scott?

    Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that questions on behalf of Ms. Jackson Lee be submitted to the witnesses.

    Mr. COBLE. That will be done.

    Gentlemen, we again thank you for your testimony today. This will be ongoing, folks. We are not cutting you loose after today. We will stay in touch, but we thank you for your testimony.

    In order to ensure a full record and adequate consideration for this important issue, the record will be left open for additional submissions for 7 days. Any written question that a Member wants to submit should be submitted within that 7-day period.

    This concludes the oversight hearing on the need for European assistance to Colombia for the fight against illicit drugs.
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    Thank you, again, for your cooperation.

    The Subcommittee stands adjourned.

    [Whereupon, at 1:27 p.m., the Subcommittees were adjourned.]

A P P E N D I X

Material Submitted for the Hearing Record

PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE DAN BURTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA, AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file for complete hearing record.]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS, AND MEMBER, SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM, AND HOMELAND SECURITY, COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

    Mr. Chairmen, I move to strike the last word. I thank the Chairmen and Ranking Members for holding this hearing.

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    The purpose of the hearing is to examine the dramatic increase in trafficking of Colombian cocaine into Western Europe and the role of the European Community in combating cocaine trafficking.

    We are fortunate to have appearing before us today as witnesses Mr. Michael Braun, Chief of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Mr. Sandro Calvani, Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. I understand that the Honorable Rosso José Serrano, Colombian Ambassador to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is not able to be with us this morning but has submitted a statement that will be presented by Major Raul Fernando Lopez of the Colombian National Police.

    Mr. Chairmen, Western Europe is experiencing a surge in cocaine trafficking from Columbia. What used to be seen solely as an American problem is now increasingly becoming a European problem. Roughly 40 to 50% of all Colombian cocaine is now sent to Europe. As a result, the European Community is experiencing unprecedented seizures and rising cocaine addiction rates. European officials consistently report that the primary illicit drug used to be heroine from Afghanistan. While heroine is still prevalent, law enforcement officials now report that cocaine has surpassed heroine as the drug of choice for both traffickers and users.

    Portugal and Spain are the primary ''gateway nations'' for trafficking Colombian cocaine into Europe. In recent months, both nations have reported major cocaine seizures from Colombia. In just the first six months of 2006, seizures have doubled to nearly 30 tons. It is estimated that these seizures account for only 1/3 of the total amount of drugs trafficked into Europe.

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    Large quantities of Colombian cocaine are brought by ship from Columbia, Venezuela, and Brazil. The cocaine is then transferred out at sea to smaller ''fast boats'' that in turn bring it to shore. This method presents several hurdles for law enforcement, not the least of which is equipment and manpower to seize the cocaine before it is transferred to the fast boats.

    Africa also plays a significant role in cocaine trafficking into Europe. From North Africa, fast boats are now using long-standing hashish routes to bring in cocaine. Although these routes are well known to law enforcement, the fast boats are extremely difficult to locate and interdict. West Africa is a staging ground for processing raw coca into street-grade cocaine and for smuggling smaller quantities of cocaine via commercial aircraft. This is particularly significant for Portuguese-speaking nations such as Cape Verde, which is a large transit point between Columbia and Europe.

    Mr. Chairmen, Europe is a much more attractive target for cocaine trafficking than the United States for several reasons: 1) it is geographically more convenient; 2) Europe now has open borders between EU member states, and 3) a kilo of cocaine garners three-times the profit in Europe than in the U.S. This increase in drug trafficking has produced an increase in violent crime, particularly in Spain and Portugal, an increase in illegal immigration, and an increase in document fraud. Spain and Portugal require visas for Colombian nationals but not for Brazilian or Venezuelan nationals. Thus, many Colombian drug traffickers are entering Spain and Portugal using forged Brazilian and Venezuelan passports.

    The rise in Colombian cocaine into Europe has serious implications for America's efforts to end Columbia's cocaine legacy and, most significantly, the use of cocaine profits to fund the terrorist activities of organizations. The fledgling yet ever-expanding cocaine market in Europe serves to undermine America's efforts to dismantle narco-terrorism in Columbia.
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    There are currently 125 DEA agents assigned to the Bogot Country Office (BCO) who assist Colombian authorities with identifying and dismantling drug cartels. According to a 2005 report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), cocaine purity is declining while price is increasing. Every acre of coca destroyed and every kilo of cocaine seized means less money for the drug cartels and para-military groups. It is clear that the cartels have turned their attention towards Europe as an untapped resource for cocaine distribution to finance their terrorist activities.

    I am looking forward to hearing from the witness and considering their responses to the subcommittee's questions.

    Thank you. I yield the balance of my time.

PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA, AND MEMBER, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

[Note: Image(s) not available in this format. See PDF version of this file for complete hearing record.]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE BARBARA LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AND MEMBER, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

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    Today's hearing is the first subcommittee hearing since Dan Getz, the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee's professional staff passed away. And I would again like to express my condolences to Chairman Burton, his staff and Dan's family on the loss of such a kind-hearted and hard-working young man. His untimely passing shocked members and staff on both sides of the aisle and his absence is felt by all.

    I would like to thank Chairman Burton, Chairman Coble and Ranking Members Engel and Scott for hosting today's hearing on the European Union's role in Plan Colombia.

    Like the vast majority of my constituents. I strongly believe that Plan Colombia is an initiative that fails to provide security or relief for Americans, Colombians or others in the region. And those who put blinders on to hail the successes of this failed policy are simply ignoring a few blazing facts.

    First, the European Union understands the importance of alternative development. Without providing social and economic alternatives, there simply is no incentive to deter coca production or to keep drug money out of politics.

    Second, many of us who serve on the International Relations Committee have been horrified as the human rights abuses and violence continues to spread into new regions—especially in Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities. Colombia has the highest number of internally displaced persons in the hemisphere and is second only to Sudan in the world. In April, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees stated that some Indigenous communities are facing extinction. And when violence armed groups invaded the Narino community early this year, the vast majority of displaced persons—90 percent—were Afro-Colombians.
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    And finally, there continues to be little faith in the Colombian governments' ability to provide basic civil and social services in rural communities or to hold those responsible for violence and intimidation responsible. Instead, we hear increasing reports of drug money's infiltration into local communities, like when Orlando Valencia, an Afro-Colombian activist was kidnapped and murdered last October and the fact that police officers' played a role in the act. There continues to be a clear sense of impunity when it comes to the role of public officials in human rights abuses when the victims are poor and or of Afro or Indigenous descent.

    Why should we have low standards for accountability and justice, continue to pump ridiculous amounts of money into the military, and be shocked that the cost of crack and coke is the same in our cities across the country and that the market is increasing across the globe?

    Simply said, if we want to be effective in combating and containing what began as a national problem, developed into a hemispheric issue, and will eventually become a global crisis, we need to rework the formula. Ninety percent of assistance to Colombia is for military assistance. Six years and $ 4.6 billion later what have learned? Simply that the status quo isn't cutting it.

POST-HEARING QUESTIONS TO MICHAEL A. BRAUN FROM THE HONORABLE SHEILA JACKSON LEE(see footnote 2)

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POST-HEARING QUESTIONS TO SANDRO CALVANI AND MICHAEL A. BRAUN FROM THE HONORABLE BARBARA LEE(see footnote 3)

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ATTACHMENT

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POST-HEARING QUESTIONS TO MICHAEL A. BRAUN, THE HONORABLE ROSSO JOSÉ SERRANO, AND SANDRO CALVANI, FROM THE HONORABLE SAM FARR, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AND MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS(see footnote 4)

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LETTER TO THE HONORABLE HENRY HYDE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, AND CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, FROM AMBASSADOR JOHN BRUTON, HEAD OF DELEGATION, EUROPEAN UNION, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 2006

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LETTER TO THE HONORABLE HENRY HYDE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, AND CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INCLUDING OUTLINE OF DRUG POLICIES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN COLOMBIA FROM AMBASSADOR JOHN BRUTON, HEAD OF DELEGATION, EUROPEAN UNION, DATED SEPTEMBER 19, 2006

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CHARTS FROM ''REPORT ON PROGRESS IN COLOMBIA'' OF THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY FROM NOVEMBER 17, 2005 BRIEFING TO FOREIGN PRESS CENTER

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(Footnote 1 return)
This briefing is based on UNODC Report. Colombia. Coca cultivation survey. June 2006. (Adapted and updated).


(Footnote 2 return)
The answers to these post-hearing questions had not been received by the Committee at the time of the printing of this hearing.


(Footnote 3 return)
The answers to these post-hearing questions had not been received by the Committee at the time of the printing of this hearing.


(Footnote 4 return)
The answers to these post-hearing questions had not been received by the Committee at the time of the printing of this hearing.