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Public Papers - 1989 - August

Statement on the Assassination of Luis Carlos Galan and Colombia-United States Relations

1989-08-19

At this time of grief for the people of Colombia, suffering from a wave of assassinations of judges, police officials, and most recently Luis Carlos Galan, a leading candidate for the Liberal Party's Presidential nomination, I express my heartfelt sympathy and give you my prayers. I also offer my condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous crimes. We in the United States should not forget that others are paying very high costs for the unchecked rampage of the international criminals trafficking in cocaine and undermining the lives of law-abiding citizens.

Last night President Barco announced a number of actions aimed at narcotics traffickers including the reinstatement of the extradition treaty between the U.S. and Colombia, which had been suspended by the nation's courts. He is using his powers under Colombia's state of siege to do so. I welcome this courageous move by President Barco. The U.S. is ready to coordinate the extradition of these criminals as expeditiously as possible. I have instructed the Departments of State and Justice to begin working on this immediately.

I am considering alternative ways to do more for the Andean countries in connection with the national drug strategy which will be presented in 2 weeks. I am ready to meet with President Barco at the earliest convenient moment to consider a coordinated approach to this problem.

In such difficult times democratic nations faced with common threats to their national security must stand together. Today, we stand together with Colombia. The narco traffickers who again have robbed Colombia of a courageous leader must be defeated. Colombia must know that we stand by its efforts to move aggressively against these criminals who seek to destroy both our societies.

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