Summary: The military cooperation agreement signed between Colombia and the US in November 2009 unleashed a flurry of debate in the continent regarding the scope of the fight against narcoterrorism and the presence of US forces in Latin America.
Military cooperation between Colombia and the US has continued since the very first Military Assistance Agreement in 1952. US assistance has broadened from the military sphere of defence to the wider area of security in order to encompass the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and other threats to Colombia’s national security. Bilateral agreements have been signed against a backdrop of regional and international statements in this connexion, and after governments such as those of Ecuador and Peru refused them the use of their facilities.
The Supplemental Agreement for Cooperation and Technical Assistance in Defence and Security (SACTA) between the governments of the Republic of Colombia and the US was signed in November 2009, allowing the presence of US forces in Colombian bases. Colombia’s exceptionality triggered significant reactions, initiatives and political-strategic trends at both the regional and extra-regional levels. This ARI describes the process of cooperation between the Colombian and US governments, assesses the agreement and outlines the controversies and costs it has generated both inside Colombia and in the broader regional context.
Full text analysis in Real Instituto Elcano: http://http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_eng/Content?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/Elcano_in/Zonas_in/ARI16-2010