Huppert heads to Colombia to see first-hand war on drugs
March 5, 2012
Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert headed to South America yesterday (Sunday, March 4) to see first-hand the war on drugs.
His six-day visit, organised by the Home Affairs Select Committee, will include meetings with key players in the United States police force and military who are on the front line in the fight against illegal drug trafficking by drugs barons.
And he will go into Colombia to meet President Juan Manuel Santos who has called for a global rethink on drugs policy.
Julian will also meet members of the Serious Organised Crime Agency to see the measures in place to tackle drugs trafficking and the ongoing work to try to control and eradicate drug manufacturing.
He flew out to Miami with members of the HASC as part of its on-going drugs inquiry.
“If we are to have any impact on Britain’s war against drugs we have to have first-hand knowledge of the lucrative business behind it and the measures being taken to tackle it,” said Julian. “This trip will give us access to those working in the front-line who are fighting the drug manufacturers and the drug traffickers are getting rich from the drugs that are sold on our streets.
“Most of our drugs come from South America and we spend more than any other country in Europe on drug prevention – but with some of the worst outcomes. We are fuelling the demand from drugs, leading to massive damage in South America, and we need to work with the Columbian and US authorities to find a way to stop this from happening if we are to begin to solve our problems at home.”
Today (Monday, March 5) Julian will visit US Southern Command which is responsible for all military activities in South and Central America.
He will be given an overview of US regional counter narcotics policy before visiting Miami International Airport to see the measures in place to prevent illegal drugs coming into the city.
The following day he will go to Miami Dade Fire Training Centre to hear about drug trends in the area and the strategies in place to tackle the drug gang culture.
On Wednesday (March 8) Julian will fly to Bogota in Columbia where he will meet President Santos before visiting a local drug treatment and rehabilitation project.
A presentation on drug production and monitoring in Columbia by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will follow.
After briefings from the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Columbian Police the following day, Julian will visit a counter narcotics training unit to learn how officers are being taught jungle skills to equip them to track down the country’s illegal jungle drug labs.
He will also visit a controlled cultivation unit and hear about the processes in place to control and eradicate the country’s drug manufacturing problem.