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Obama will continue helping Colombia fight drug trafficking

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Obama extends program helping Colombia fight drug traffickers
  • The program focuses on civil aircraft transporting illicit drugs
  • It is the seventh straight year the assistance has been extended

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday extended U.S. assistance to Colombia in combating civilian aircraft involved in drug trafficking.

A White House statement said Obama issued a memo to the State Department and Defense Department authorizing the continuation of what is called U.S. Drug Interdiction Assistance to Colombia.

It is the seventh straight year that the interdiction assistance has been extended.

The memo said Colombia has appropriate procedures in place to protect against innocent loss of life from interdiction against civil aircraft "reasonably suspected" of illicit drug trafficking.