Remarks at Counter-Narcotics Directorate Headquarters

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Bogota, Colombia
August 12, 2013

SECRETARY KERRY: Muchas gracias, Senor Ministro. It’s a great privilege for me to be here this afternoon with all of you. Thank you for a remarkable demonstration of Colombia’s capacity to fight against illegal narcotics and against terrorism.

This is a very impressive display of Colombia’s commitment to try to make a difference in this effort. We all know it’s a very difficult one. And I particularly want to express our gratitude to those police officers, those members of the military also, who have been wounded or have sacrificed their lives in the effort to try to make the world safe from narcotics traffickers, criminals and terrorists.

I want to say thank you on behalf of the United States of America because we’re very grateful for the partnership in working with you. A lot of what is happening here is happening in joint training and in joint support. And I am very impressed personally, because I served for many years in the United States Senate and I used to vote for the money that would help support this kind of program. But this is the first time I’ve seen it in person here in Colombia, and I’m very impressed by what I see.

So thank you very, very much, all of you, for being part of this fight. I know sometimes it may seem frustrating, but I will tell you that it is making a difference, and it is making a difference nowhere more than here in Colombia.

So I will take back with me the impressions that I have from today, and I am very happy to share with you, on behalf of President Obama and the American people, our gratitude for your partnership in this very important fight. Thank you, and keep working at it, and stay safe.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, Minister. Great guy. You’re doing a great job. It’s very impressive. All right. (Applause.)

PRN: 2013/T12-04