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DATE=2/26/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227354
TITLE=COLOMBIA REACT (L ONLY)
BYLINE=GEORGE MEEK
DATELINE=RIO DE JANEIRO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  THE U-S FINDING THAT COLOMBIA HAS MADE PROGRESS IN THE 
DRUG WAR BUT IS STILL NOT FULLY COOPERATING IS SEEN IN A POSITIVE
LIGHT BY THE GOVERNMENT IN BOGOTA. WE HAVE DETAILS FROM V-O-A'S  
CORRESPONDENT GEORGE MEEK IN OUR SOUTH AMERICA BUREAU.
TEXT:  THE UNITED STATES CONSIDERS COLOMBIA DECERTIFIED, WITH A 
WAIVER THAT CONTINUED COOPERATION IS IN THE U-S NATIONAL 
INTEREST.  COLOMBIA REGARDS THIS AS CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION. 
COLOMBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARIA EMMA MEJIA SAYS THE DECISION 
WILL HELP COLOMBIA IN THE DRUG WAR, BECAUSE -- IN HER WORDS -- 
THE ENEMY IS NOT COLOMBIA, BUT DRUG TRAFFICKERS. HER COUNTRY IS 
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRODUCER OF COCA, THE RAW MATERIAL OF 
COCAINE, AND THE MAJOR EXPORTER OF COCAINE.
FOREIGN MINISTER MEJIA REJECTS THE STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF 
STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT THAT THE CURRENT COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT 
HAS NOT DEMONSTRATED FULL POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR ANTI-NARCOTICS 
EFFORTS.  MS. MEJIA SAID, IN A RADIO INTERVIEW, THAT PRESIDENT 
ERNESTO SAMPER CONCEIVES, SUPERVISES, AND FOLLOWS UP ON THE 
ANTI-DRUG EFFORT. 
IN A RELATED DEVELOPMENT, COLOMBIAN CONTROLLER GENERAL DAVID 
TURBAY HAS SURRENDERED TO AUTHORITIES TO FACE CHARGES OF ILLEGAL 
ENRICHMENT FROM CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE CALI COCAINE CARTEL TO HIS 
1994 POLITICAL CAMPAIGN. MR. TURBAY DENIES THE CHARGES AND HAS 
REQUESTED A THREE-MONTH LEAVE OF ABSENCE TO PROVE HIS INNOCENCE. 
THE CONTROLLER HAS ASKED FOREIGN MINISTER MEJIA WHETHER HIS 
ARREST WAS, AS SOME POLITICIANS HAVE SUGGESTED, A CONDITION SET 
BY THE UNITED STATES FOR CERTIFICATION OF COLOMBIA'S COOPERATION 
IN THE DRUG WAR.
COLOMBIA IS ENCOURAGING THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL 
MECHANISM, WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN 
STATES, TO REPLACE UNILATERAL U-S CERTIFICATION OF COUNTRIES. 
O-A-S SECRETARY GENERAL CESAR GAVIRIA -- A FORMER COLOMBIAN 
PRESIDENT -- HAS SAID THE ORGANIZATION IS WORKING ON THE PROBLEM.
(SIGNED)
NEB/GM/WDC/PT
26-Feb-98 5:42 PM EST (2242 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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