While the Colombian government is avoiding a Congressional vote on a military pact with the United States, the American ambassador to Bogota said that the U.S. is obliged to have the pact ratified by the country’s Congress.
“I want it to be clear that according to our proceedings and our rules, after firming an executive pact, we are obliged to pass this text to U.S. Congress, specifically the two committees of Foreign Relations of the Senate and the House of Representatives,” William Brownfield was quoted by Colombian radio station Caracol.
The Colombian government claims the military agreement is not a new pact, but falls under what has previously been approved by the country’s Congress and thus will not have to be ratified.
Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez met Thursday Morning with the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives to explain why Congress is being left out of the process.
Following this meeting, House president Edgar Gomez told reporters that “it is not an international treaty but a simplified agreement that develops obligations in multilateral treaties signed by Colombia and the United States, [treaties] which were revised by Congress and the Constitutional Court at the time of signing.” the press release reads.
After passing the agreement, the U.S. will be allowed to use seven Colombian military bases for “counterterrorism and counternarcotics” operations. The pact caused controversy amon neighbors, who consider an increase in U.S. military activity in South America a threat to their sovereignty.