Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed plans Tuesday to build a new naval base on the Pacific island of Tierrabomba, just off the country’s coast, replacing a nearby base that had been in operation since 1934.
“We will move the naval base. We will move it to Tierrabomba and we will build a modern naval base, a naval base that has all the tools, all the toys, so to speak,” said Santos during a naval promotion ceremony in Cartagena. “It must be the best in the continent, and why not, the best in the world.”
The old base, located in the Cartagena neighborhood of Bocagrande, spans just over 66 acres, insufficient space for Colombia’s modern navy to operate effectively, according to officials.
Santos says the new military port is the “tip of the spear” for development efforts in Tierrabomba, which will ultimately benefit the Carribean island’s residents. He also pointed out his administration’s recent military investments, saying that “these funds are being very well spent.”
Cartagena’s mayor, Campo Elias Teran Dix, lauded the move, saying “How great! How good it is that we can say we are starting down this path.”
The government will begin asking for design plans for Tierrabomba’s naval garrison shortly.