The United States has reduced its number of troops in Colombia to half of what it was three years ago, U.S. ambassador to Bogota, William Brownfield, said Sunday.
“Two of three years ago, [the number of troops] reached its maximum; some 500 soldiers,” Brownfield told Cali newspaper El País. “At this moment we are more or less at half and every year [the number of troops] will decrease more.”
Brownfield responded to the controversy that was generated in Colombia, because, according to a new deal between Washington and Bogota, U.S. civil and military personnel are granted diplomatic immunity.
Despite this deal that gives the U.S. access to Colombian air bases, Brownfield insists that the number of U.S. troops will continue to decrease and “the possibility of incidents will decrease, because we will have less persons to cause incidents.”
U.S. troops previously were accused of rape, drug trafficking and distribution of child porn.
Colombia and the U.S. are close to making a deal that allows the U.S. to continue its anti-drug trafficking efforts in Latin America after the closing of its base in Ecuador in November. The two countries already work together inside Colombia to battle domestic coca production and drug trafficking.