The United States confirms it is looking into the possibilities of
moving its military capacity to Colombia after the closing of its base
off the coast of Ecuador.
“I am not going to deny that we are talking about this
possibility,” U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield stated.
He went on to say that the United States is not looking for
a new partnership with Colombia, but seeks to build on the existing
relationship. “Colombia and the United States are working together in efforts
against illegal drug trafficking and international crime. Part of that
collaboration, without a doubt, calls for access to military bases in both countries,
which requires an adjustment,” Brownfield said.
Nevertheless, the air base will continue to be under Colombia’s control
and jurisdiction, he assured.
This consideration in Washington echoes a statement made
March 3 by Colombia’s Minister of Defense offering the United States the option
to expand its facilities in some of the military bases in the area.
Since 2000 the U.S. has contributed a total of US$5.5
billion in economic and military help in Colombia’s fight against drug trafficking and leftist guerrillas. The Ecuadorean Government want the U.S. air base — used for the drug war — out of Ecuador by November.