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Tillerson Says U.S. Must See Decline in Colombia's Coca Output

  • Secretary, in Bogota, does not guarantee continued aid
  • Trump threatened to ‘stop aid’ to drug-producing nations

Photographer: Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. expects Colombia to start reversing sharp increases in production of coca this year, pointedly declining to guarantee continued aid if those efforts fail.

Tillerson didn’t go as far as President Donald Trump, who threatened last week to “stop the aid” to countries that don’t cut off the flow of drugs. Still, Tillerson made clear that the U.S. -- which spent $325 million in assistance to Colombia in 2016, according to government figures -- must see progress in tackling coca output, which has tripled in five years.