US confirms possible reduction in aid for Colombia peace process

Both the US ambassador to Bogota and the US international narcotics chief have confirmed the US government could cut aid for peace in Colombia after initially promising $450 million.

The vice-secretary for the U.S Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), William Brownfield, and ambassador Kevin Whitaker confirmed leaked statements by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in which he said the administration of President Donald Trump wanted to “review” the aid package promised by former President Barack Obama.

Addressing local media, Brownfield suggested “it is possible that there will be changes in the US congress budget.”

In the first presentation of the 2018 White House budget, a severe reduction (37%) was shown in available resources for the State Department’s international aid programs

INL vice-secretary William R. Brownfield

Brownfield reassured Colombians that the issue was “more a conversation than a threat”, adding that the reduction in aid could be changed “via a request from the Secretary of State to the President of the U.S.”

He added that uncertainty in aid reduction is a consequence of both governments being in a stage of transition, “Colombia towards peace and us from one political party to another.”