Colombia, the world’s largest cocaine producer, has once again broken its own record for illicit coca leaf cultivation, leading to a surge in cocaine production. On September 7, the Petro Administration presented a new strategy to combat the illicit drug trade. Although cocaine consumption and prices have remained stable in the United States in recent years, surging production has led to falling coca leaf and cocaine prices in Colombia.

The bipartisan US-Colombia Advisory Group, led by honorary co-chairs Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), who serves as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), convened in 2023 to assess the current drug and security situation given the importance of this cooperation as a building block of our overall bilateral relationship. The Advisory Group’s conclusions are outlined in our forthcoming report titled “Advancing US-Colombia Cooperation on Drug Policy and Law Enforcement,” which will be released and discussed at this event.

What opportunities might exist for the US and Colombia to collaborate in their approaches to drug policy and security? What impact might Petro’s new drug strategy have on US assistance levels? How can the United States and Colombia improve the effectiveness of their strategies as we see a rise of organized crime and changing global trends in narcotics consumption?

*This event will be held in English and Spanish. Virtual simultaneous interpretation will be available.


Panel I: Colombia’s Current Drug & Security Situation

Gloria Miranda
Director of Drug Policy, Ministry of Justice and Law
Republic of Colombia

Muni Jensen
Dentons Global Advisors

Amb. Kevin Whitaker
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center,
Atlantic Council; former US Ambassador to Colombia,
US Department of State

Moderated by

Jason Marczak
Vice President and Senior Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

Panel II: Recommendations for US-Colombia Cooperation on Drug Policy and Law Enforcement

Steve Hege
Colombia Country Director
United States Institute for Peace

Amb. Carolina Barco
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Colombia

Amb. P. Michael McKinley
Former US Ambassador to Brazil, Afghanistan, Colombia, and Peru,
US Department of State; Senior Counselor,
The Cohen Group

Moderated by

Geoff Ramsey
Senior Fellow, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
Atlantic Council

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.

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