OAS Addresses Narco-terrorism’s Challenges to Democratic Institutions

Ambassador Carlos Trujillo, Permanent Representative of the United States, addresses the OAS Permanent Council, September 11, 2019. (OAS Photo)

Remarks by
Ambassador Carlos Trujillo
September 11, 2019

Thank you, Chair, and thank you to Foreign Minister Holmes-Trujillo and to the Government of Colombia for bringing this crucial issue to the attention of the Permanent Council.

The United States stands resolutely with the Government of Colombia, President Duque, and the Colombian people in their efforts to secure the just and lasting peace and security that Colombia deserves.

We reject recent calls by some individuals to abandon the FARC’s commitments under the 2016 peace accord and engage in further terrorism and violence. We also condemn the continued terrorist activities of the ELN and all those who enable it and give it safe haven.

Colombia continues to undertake a courageous and comprehensive effort to implement a political solution to one of the hemisphere’s longest-running conflicts. Adherence to and implementation of the 2016 peace accord is vital to sustainable progress on security, counternarcotics, human rights, and economic development.

To this end, the international community must continue its support for Colombia’s efforts to secure a just and sustainable peace after more than 50 years of conflict.

Madame Chair, the United States has provided strong support to Colombia’s journey toward peace. We also note the important role of the OAS’ monitoring mission in Colombia (MAPP) to support efforts by the Colombian government and people to pursue the just and lasting peace Colombia deserves.

We believe the MAPP Mission has played a vital role in the peace process and welcome Colombia’s decision to continue this important partnership — one that supports security and ex-combatant reincorporation efforts.

At the same time, the successful implementation of the peace accord is inextricably linked to efforts to dismantle criminal organizations and curtail narcotrafficking. Any actions to undermine these efforts are contrary to the founding principles of our Organization, and are a threat to regional peace and stability.

In this Permanent Council’s next agenda item, we will discuss how the illegitimate Maduro regime is undermining and destroying Venezuelan own democratic institutions. But as we have repeatedly highlighted in this and other forums, this is not merely an internal Venezuelan problem. It is multi-faceted, regional in scope, and spreading. And it is now increasingly clear that the illegitimate the regime is aiding and abetting dissident armed groups that seek to undermine democratic institutions in neighboring Colombia.

This is unacceptable and should outrage all who believe in peace, security, and state sovereignty.

The people of Colombia know better than most that peace is precious but fragile. We therefore stand with Colombia, and with the OAS, in working to preserve this peace — and to build a strong and prosperous future for generations to come.