US President Joe Biden is holding a bilateral meeting with Colombian President Gustavo Petro, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Friday. Petro said on Twitter that he is thankful for the invitation of US President Biden.
Its main purpose is to strengthen cooperation between countries not only in the fight against drug trafficking but also in Amazon protection, climate change, and rural development. The key to doing this will be a meeting in Washington on April 20.
The White House said the meeting was held to broker peace deals with petro-leftist rebels, former right-wing paramilitaries, and organized crime groups. Colombia has pledged to end the six-decade conflict that has killed 450,000 people through surrender agreements.
The UN said last year that Colombia’s potential cocaine production would increase by 14% to 1,400 metric tons in 2021 and that coca acreage would increase by 43% to 204,000 hectares (500,000 acres). This is mentioned in the annual report of the year.
The US-led war on petro-drugs, which took power last year, has been mocked by calls for a new international policy. Colombia’s attorney general, who has criticized Petro’s policies, said the country could lose the US model because of growing coca production.
And the bill would allow criminal gangs to surrender in exchange for lesser sentences. Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington and Julia Sims Cobb in Bogota; Editing by Diane Croft.