The Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court approved a treaty of cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to strengthen military intelligence between both parties, national media reported on Tuesday.
The vote passed 81 to nine, and according to Conservative Party representative Telesforo Pedraza, the treaty will serve to “share the issues of humans rights, and improve training and practices in military exercises,” Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper reports.
The Colombian congressman noted that since NATO only applies to countries in the north Atlantic, the organization would not be able to send troops into Colombia, but would be able to assist in capturing wanted criminals living abroad.
“This alliance may catch criminals who have evaded Colombian national justice and ran off to Europe and North America. In the same way, criminal foreigners who seek shelter in Colombia can be caught and deported,” said Pedraza.
The alliance between Colombia and NATO has sparked harsh criticisms from neighboring countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, whose governments interpret this approach as the first step towards Colombia becoming a NATO member, which could threaten stability in the region.
- Plenaria de Camara aprueba tratado de cooperacion con la Otan (El Espectador)