President Trump’s proposed federal budget may cut cut major anti-drug programs in Colombia and Mexico, Eric Farnsworth of the Washington-based Council of the Americas tells McClatchy Newspapers. The Obama administration pledged $450 million to support peace in Colombia after a half-century of bloody combat between the government and leftist rebels known for drug trafficking and kidnappings. About $1 billion has been allocated to be spent on the 7-year-old Merida initiative, which fights drug trafficking in Mexico.
“These aren’t giveaway programs,” Farnsworth said. “These are not some sort of do-gooderism. This is hard-nosed support for an agenda that we believe is in our interests because it will reduce violence and it will reduce narcotics trafficking.” Trump described his proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.” He is expected to release his final budget proposal in March, but he promised to provide more details tonight in a joint address to Congress. He emphasized that the U.S. service men and women will have the tools they need to “deter war and, when called upon, to fight in our name.”