Recently, I spoke on Spirit of America’s first ever self-produced podcast, titled “The Ugly Truth: Drugs, Trafficking, and Terrorism in Colombia“. Click here to listen to the full podcast.
During the podcast, I discuss one of my favorite projects. In this effort, we helped curb cocaine production through education in a struggling community in Colombia.
Cocaine production is a major issue in Colombia. Over 90 percent of the cocaine in the United States is believed to have come from the country. Local governments struggle to halt drug cultivation and trafficking by Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs).
These illegal activities are conducted by armed groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), criminal gangs (BACRIM), and terrorist support networks. They prey on Colombian communities by recruiting or kidnapping local youth to aid in their illicit activity.
A US Army team works alongside their Colombian partners to prevent children from being drawn into these activities. They focus on providing valuable education and career options as an alternative to joining a gang.
Here, I’m pictured with students during my first trip to Colombia.
This podcast details Spirit of America’s involvement in this important mission, and how we provided the resources necessary to enable these students to receive an education, while at the same time warding off criminal recruitment efforts.
As always, thank you for your incredible support,
Project Manager – Latin America