The Carter administration has agreed to give the government of Colombia three helicopters and other equipment worth $3.7 million to try to halt that nation's drug traffic to the United States.
Dr. Peter Bourne, head of the Office of Drug Abuse and Control at the White House, said yesterday that the grant is the "first concrete development" resulting from the Latin American trip taken last month by First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
On June 10 she discussed what she called the "very serious" narcotics problem with Colombian President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen and promised that the United States would "take immediate steps to curb the illegal trafficking."
Colombian drug dealers send thousands of tons of cocaine worth more than $500 million to the United States each year. The money that flows into Colombia from the drug traffic contributes to that nation's 30 per cent inflation rate.
Bourne said he and Peter B. Bensinger head of the Justice Department's Drug Enforcement Administration, will lead a team of U.S. drug experts on a trip to Bogota next week for further discussions.
The helicopters and communications equipment are to be used to interdict the drug traffic in Colombia's coastal areas, he said.