At his confirmation hearing, former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson said he would review the details of Colombia’s recent peace agreement, and determine the extent to which the United States should continue to support it.
In Tillerson's opinion, the U.S. interests were better served during the military collaboration of Plan Colombia rather than when Colombia strived toward peace after decades of armed conflict.
He added, "Plan Colombia has made a dramatic difference and can be considered a foreign policy success for both the United States and for Colombia."
"Colombia is, I believe, one of our closest allies in the hemisphere, and an important trading partner. If confirmed, I would make every effort to continue our close cooperation with the Colombian government, holding them to their commitments to rein in drug production and trafficking," he said.
Plan Colombia was a counterinsurgency military aid package launched by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999. Cloaked as a counternarcotics operation, its legacy has been massacres, mass graves and death squads.
The United States' contribution of military personnel and billions of dollars to fight Colombia's drug trade and contribute to security to counter the internal conflict with rebel guerrillas has coincided with an increase in violence and an unfettered militarization — conspicuous as some three-quarters of Plan Colombia’s aid money went toward funding the military and local police.
While Tillerson still needs to be confirmed by the full Senate, he was confirmed by a Senate committee Monday.
Tillerson also hinted that he would roll back the historic thaw in frozen U.S.-Cuba relations launched under Obama, a position that Trump has often repeated, arguing that the U.S. should demand a better "deal" from Cuba.