Colombia’s military base deal with the United States is not constitutional without ratification by Congress, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday.
The controversial pact, which allows the U.S. access to at least seven military bases and civilian airports, was signed by the government of former president Alvaro 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 Congress approval.
The court however disagrees and says Colombia can only comply with the military pact if approved by the legislative branch. Until then, the deal is unconstitutional.
The military pact 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 the country. Leftist opposition party Polo Democratico considers the pact a violation of Colombian independence and sovereignty.