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Rep. Bill Paxon, R-Amherst, returned home Sunday from a five-day visit to El Salvador and cocaine-producing regions of South America and condemned what he called "the international narcotics pipeline of death that leads to the streets of Western New York."

A member of the House Committee on Narcotics Abuse, Paxon visited Colombia and Peru, traveling by armed aircraft and heavily guarded armored convoy.

He said he was most encouraged by an hourlong meeting with Colombian President Virgilio Barco, who discussed an offer made Wednesday by the Medellin cocaine cartel to end the drug trade in return for amnesty. Paxon said Barco's Cabinet was unanimous in opposing amnesty.

"I believe they have the narco-terrorists on the run and will ultimately bring them to justice," Paxon said. "As one official put it, they finally have their foot on the head of the snake and they're going to cut it off."

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