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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989 - December

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the International War on Drugs


A team of U.S. officials led by Assistant Secretary of State Bernard Aronson is visiting the three Andean countries this week to discuss with those governments the agenda for the planned February drug summit.

The President has focused his attention on both the domestic and international war against drugs and has made it a high priority of his administration. The struggle against drugs is not limited solely to the United States. The Andean countries, particularly President Barco in Colombia, have undertaken extraordinary measures. In this context, Bolivia today has apprehended and turned over to the United States Luis Arce Gomez, who has been a fugitive from U.S. justice since 1983. Gomez was wanted in the Southern District of Florida, where he has been charged with two counts of drug trafficking along with codefendant Anna de Tamayo Rodriguez, who was recently extradited from Colombia.

The arrest of Arce Gomez sends a message that the President will work with other governments to pursue vigorously individuals who traffic in drugs.

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