The situation has the Trump administration threatening to 'decertify' Colombia's drug-war efforts and Colombian authorities in response pointing out that Colombia has seized far more drugs than has the U.S., with far more resources.
But Colombia might also point to the U.S.'s inability to control illegal marijuana cultivation or the consumption of all kinds of drugs, either legal or illegal.
In fact, Colombia was long seen as Washington's model drug war ally: It fumigated crops, carried out forced erradication and accepted billions of dollars in U.S. aid, hosted U.S. soldiers and spy planes.
But, despite having all the ingredients to win, Colombia's anti-drug efforts have failed.
|Colombian coca leaf production thru 2015: The upward trend has since continued.|
Colombia is only fortunate - or smart - that the ongoing drug boom has not brought with it the violence it did decades ago.
The U.S., for its part, should recognize that its war on drugs has been a deadly, expensive mess, and that instead of throwing away more money and endangering relations with a close ally, it should decriminalize cocaine and switch to harm reduction policies.
But good luck finding that sort of sanity in the Trump administration.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours