White House Daily Briefing

Office of the Press Secretary

December 5, 2000


The James S. Brady Briefing Room

11:40 A.M. EST

Q: Is the President aware that the support for Plan Colombia and the
region is falling apart, and that some countries like Ecuador is
requesting $150 million to the U.S. trying to fight the trouble with
the people who have been moving from Colombia to their territory
because of narco-traffic fights and the civil war in Colombia?

MR. SIEWERT: Well, we've always envisioned our counternarcotics plan
down there to cover more than just Colombia itself, and we've always
had a concerted effort working with Colombia's neighbors to ensure
that there's as strong as possible network of countries in the region
committed to countering the flow of narcotics. And there was money in,
as you know, what's called Plan Colombia for some of the neighboring
countries to continue to work with them on what we can do to stop the
flow of drugs in the region.

And as you know, it's an inevitable consequence that if you have some
success in one place stopping narcotics, that dealers and traffickers
will look to other places in the area. But that's something that I
think Director McCaffrey had a chance to discuss with some of his
counterparts and some of our allies in the region, around the Fox
inauguration, something we'll continue to work on.

Q: But a country like Brazil and Venezuela, they say that $190 million
from Plan Colombia for that region is not enough. Is there any
possibility the President will ask Congress for more money for that

MR. SIEWERT: I think we're very focused now on wrapping up some work
that was not done this year. I'll check and see if there's any plans
to submit any additional budget requests. But that seems like it would
be something that would probably be more likely to come up in the next

END 12:09 P.M. EST

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