Single Clip View (View all clips)

Data is an audio file at this location.

[Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky), chairman House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations:] Wasn't it a part of the agreement with FARC that brought about the peace process to stop eradicating? Was that part of the deal?

[Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:] I'd have to look at the specific language, Chairman, I can get back to yo on that. As you recall--and I know you know the history there--there was a peace plan that was rejected when it was put to a referendum among the people. It was modified and then agreed and approved by the Congress without taking it to the people. I think there's a reason that people rejected it. It had some problematic areas to it. It still does have some problematic areas around insuring that those who have committed certain crimes, in particular crimes against humanity, not be given a free pass. So there are some human rights issues we're concerned with.

In terms of the programs to eradicate the coca fields, that is something that our law enforcement people are looking at and working with them on--

[Rogers:] My understanding is--

[Tillerson:] They indicated to us their commitment to undertake the eradication. Now, the way they do that is, they buy-- it is an arrangement where they essentially buy out, so to speak, these farmers that allege they were coerced, they were forced by the FARC to plant these coca fields. Now again, what happened is, during the peace process, they tell me, people went out and put more fields under cultivation to get to increase their buyout.

[Rogers:] Well, we've seen buyouts don't work anywhere in the world, including the U.S. But the fact is that the peace process, peace agreement, included provisions that FARC demanded. And that is to no longer eradicate and spray. And so in the meantime, 90 percent of the coca is coming out of that country and it's growing every day.

[Tillerson:] Yeah, it is, it's regrettable that efforts and a lot of money put into Colombia by the U.S. brings us to this point. So we've got to work with the Colombian government to resolve this coca problem. But we've got other issues we need to resolve with them as well. And I think--I will just tell you, we are at a challenged place with them right now, but we don't want to abandon what has been achieved. And we certainly don't want to send it back into a conflict situation.
Department of State - Budget Hearing (Washington: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, June 14, 2017) <>.