Judge Jorge Ivan Palacio, who was delegated by the nation’s Constitutional Court to study the constitutionality of an agreement which allows U.S. presence at seven Colombian military bases, released a report stating that the controversial pact is unconstitutional and needs to be reviewed, reported El Espectador on Friday.
In the report, Palacio suggests that the Colombian Congress be given a period of twelve months to process a new bilateral agreement with the U.S. military.
The report has been given to the nine judges of Colombia’s Constitutional Court, who have until August 17 to make a ruling.
In early July, the U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said that his nation’s use of seven Colombian military bases does not affect other countries in the region, and that the U.S.’s military presence is crucial in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.
In the same week, U.S. ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield said that his country will not increase the number of U.S. military personnel present in the Andean nation.
Brownfield said that Colombia “will not be seeing more personnel from the United States, on the contrary we will see less.” He added, however, that the two countries would “maintain the same mechanisms of collaboration.”
Due to an agreement signed in 2009, the U.S. has access to seven Colombian military bases in order to work with the Colombian armed forces in the fight against narco-trafficking and terrorism.
The deal has caused tension between the Colombian government and several leaders of other Latin American nations, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.