A Colombian NGO files a complaint before a Congress commission against former President Alvaro Uribe for authorizing a military pact with the U.S. in 2009.
The Corporacion Colectivo de Abogados Jose Alvear Restrepo claims that Uribe broke the law and the constitution by signing the deal, and that it was was an act of treason, an abuse of power, and a breach of public duty.
The complaint was made Thursday before the House of Representatives’ Commission of Investigation and Prosecution, which is responsible for investigating complaints against high government officials.
The collective’s representative said “we are initiating this criminal complaint because the military bases agreement signed with the Government of the United States deeply hurt national sovereignty.”
The controversial pact, which granted the U.S. access to at least seven Colombian military bases and civilian airports, was signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Uribe in August 2009, but was never approved by the country’s Congress. According to Uribe, the pact was a continuation of existing policy and did not need congressional approval.
The Constitutional Court ruled on August 17 that the military pact was unconstitutional until ratified by Congress.
EPA reports that before the deal was signed, the Council of State warned Uribe that the deal was not legal, and would need prior approval by Congress.
According to Constitutional Court President Mauricio Gonzalez Cuervo, details such as “access points and the use of air bases, free movement within these installations, the freedom to carry arms” led the court to decide that the agreement was not simply an extension of previous treaties.
The agreement caused tensions in the region, as neighbors Ecuador and Venezuela consider U.S. military presence in Colombia a threat to their sovereignty.
The pact was also controversial within Colombia, with leftist opposition party Polo Democratico labelling the pact a violation of Colombian independence and sovereignty.
New President Juan Manuel Santos said his government will study the agreement and “decide if it is worth continuing with the pact or not.”