Cécile Hernández, the head of Colombia’s National Narcotics Council (CND), has announced she will not resign from the post of the country’s top drug czar as a warning to President Juan Manuel Santos.
Her decision comes after Santos accused her of using her position to advance her own interests and undermine the countrys efforts to combat the scourge of coca cultivation.
A year ago, Santos appointed Cédric Cintrón, a former head of the Colombian Drug Enforcement Agency, as CND’s new leader.
Cintrán had been widely criticised for not taking a more aggressive stance on the cultivation of cocas in Colombia, although he is widely credited with reducing the country´s cocaine production by 70 percent between 2014 and 2016.
His appointment also came after the government faced criticism from the United Nations for not pursuing criminal charges against drug traffickers who have been allowed to continue operating with impunity in the country.
The US-led alliance against drugs has long been criticised for failing to make progress in combating the illicit drug trade in Colombia.
The CND has criticised the alliance as being too weak to fight the drug trade and for failing its duty to protect civilians and national security.
“This is not a political decision,” Hernas said in a statement on Thursday.
“This decision is not my choice.
This decision is a moral choice that I make every day.
It is a decision to take a stand against the criminalization of the coca crop.”
Hernas was a member of Santos´ first cabinet, which was made up of former drug czars in 2012.