Colombia has grown from being a recipient of U.S. mililtary aid to an ally that is able to share its military experience and knowledge with other countries in the Americas, the country’s defense minister said Friday.
“We want to contribute to the development of the capacity of other nations in the region, Central America and the Caribbean” in order to fight drug trafficking throughout the Americas, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told reporters in Washington.
Pinzon and other high government officials have been in Washington the past three days to discuss military strategy and how to strengthen Colombia’s ability to assist other countries in the region with their fight’s against drug trafficking and terrorism.
“We had a very interesting dialogue as equals, like those had with other nations. It was the first time we’ve worked at this level with the White House, Security Council, State Department, Defense Department, and Justice Department,” said Pinzon.
“It is very important that we use the experience of our armed forces, which are admired and appreciated around the region and the world, and that we develop the ability to offer that experience and knowledge in a systematic way to countries that require it,” said the minister.
Pinzon’s meeting followed the Obama administration’s announcement that Washington plans to further lower its financial aid to Colombia’s military. In the 2013 budget proposal Colombia would receive $30 million, 15% less than this year.