Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Thursday that he will discuss the war on drugs, which he considers a failure, in his meeting with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, but will not discuss his government’s extradition policy.

“Undoubtedly there are differences. We believe that the war on drugs has failed. These 50 years show an absolutely disastrous balance in numbers both here, in the United States, and in our Latin America,” Petro told reporters in Washington, hours before going to the White House.

The leftist leader said that “the democratic degradation is capital, the number of dead is in the millions and the number of prisoners almost reaches a dozen million” as a result of the military strategy against drugs.

According to Petro, “the final result is that the situation has worsened” and that drug consumption is “killing a good part” of the population.

“We want to open the discussion on this issue and on how international drug policy is articulated with the growth of violence throughout the Americas and the violence in Colombia. The road to peace goes through understanding these circumstances,” he said.

At the same time, the Colombian president ruled out discussing with Biden the issue of extraditions of alleged drug traffickers, which has generated concern in Washington because his “total peace” plan includes the possibility of halting arrest warrants for members of armed groups that negotiate with the government.

“For now everything remains the same,” Petro said about the extraditions of alleged criminals wanted by the United States.

Petro also stressed that there are also “points in common” with Biden, such as the shared agenda against the climate crisis.

The president explained that he has met in Washington with Democratic legislators with whom he has discussed “how to bring together North American progressivism with Latin American progressivism around a new economy that overcomes the climate crisis”.

On his ambitious agrarian reform to redistribute land, Petro recalled that former U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) also proposed at the time in a trip to Bogota “an alliance for progress” that begins with “a democratization of the agrarian world”.

And he defended that the State should contribute to increase food production in Colombia. “The more food we produce, the less drugs will be exported,” he remarked.

The meeting with Biden in the Oval Office is the highlight of Petro’s tour of the United States, who on Monday spoke at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN headquarters in New York, and on Tuesday was at Stanford University in San Francisco (California) to give a speech on Wednesday to the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington.

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