More than 1,000 women from twelve different countries will march from Barrancabermeja in the Santander department to the Palenquero military base in Puerto Salgar, Cundinamarca, to protest against a military pact signed between Colombia and the U.S.
Once the women arrive at the Palenquero base, they plan to hold a sit-in as well as artistic and cultural performances, as a symbolic rejection of a foreign military presence in Colombia.
According to the protesters, women are the primary victims of forced displacement and rape at the hands of foreign personnel around the world.
Colombia signed a military pact with the U.S. in 2009. The agreement grants the U.S. military access to seven bases around Colombia.
On Tuesday Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the pact is unconstitutional until ratified by Congress.
The Colombian government claims the military agreement is not a new treaty, but falls under agreements that have previously been approved by the country’s Congress and thus does not have to be ratified.
According to House of Representatives President Edgar Gomez the pact “is not an international treaty but a simplified agreement that develops obligations in multilateral treaties signed by Colombia and the United States, [treaties] which were revised by Congress and the Constitutional Court at the time of signing.”
If the agreement is passed, the U.S. will be allowed to use seven Colombian military bases for “counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics” operations. The pact caused controversy among neighboring countries, who consider an increase in U.S. military activity in South America a threat to their sovereignty.