Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Colombia, U.S. sign military cooperation deal
Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:04am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Hugh Bronstein
BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia and the United States signed a pact on Friday increasing U.S. access to military bases in the South American country, deepening its standing as Washington's main ally in the region.
Left-leaning leaders in neighboring countries object to the deal, which gives U.S. troops access to seven bases in an effort to boost anti-drug and counter-insurgency operations.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says the pact will destabilize the region and could set the stage for a U.S.-led invasion of his oil-rich country, a claim that Bogota and Washington dismiss.
"The pact is based on the principles of total respect for sovereign equality, territorial integrity and not intervening in the internal affairs of other states," said a statement issued by Colombia's foreign ministry.
U.S. and Colombian officials say the American military presence in the Andean country will not exceed caps previously set by the U.S. Congress of 800 military personnel and 600 contractors.
Washington is relocating its regional anti-narcotics hub to Colombia after the leader of Ecuador, Chavez ally Rafael Correa, refused to extend the U.S. mission in his country. Bolivia and Nicaragua also oppose the U.S.-Colombia deal.
The U.S. government already has appropriated $46 million to fund the new arrangement. Most will go to refurbish the Palanquero air force base near Bogota.
Colombia, the most reliable U.S. ally in South America, has received around $6 billion in mostly military aid from Washington since 2000.
U.S. ALLY URIBE
Colombia's conservative President Alvaro Uribe decided not to send the pact to Congress for consideration as recommended last week by a Colombian court. The accord has been criticized locally for granting U.S. troops immunity from criminal prosecution in Colombia.
Opposition Senator Gustavo Petro, also a candidate for president, blasted the pact as invalid for not having been approved by Colombian lawmakers.
"Uribe signed on because he is completely subjugated to the geopolitical strategy of the American extreme right," Petro said.
But polls show most Colombians back the deal.
Uribe is a hero to many for his tough stance against Marxist rebels widely loathed for their practice of kidnapping. The country's biggest guerrilla army -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC -- is fighting a 45-year-old insurgency funded since the 1980s by the cocaine trade.
Uribe may run for a third four-year term in office if his supporters manage to amend the constitution to allow him to stand in the May election. He is seen by Washington as a buffer against Chavez and Correa, both of whom have extended their periods in power through changes in election laws. Continued...
View article on single page
UPDATE 2-Shire's beats Q3 forecasts as new drugs outperform
Also on Reuters
Thank heavens for the economic downturn?
Video: Where is the Berlin Wall now?
Hedge funds outperform at Hong Kong "fight night"
More International News
Afghan officials defend plan for more voting centers
Israel endorses draft Iran atom deal as "first step"
Russia tycoon reveals U.S. trips, silent on visa row
Myanmar arrests journalists, activists in crackdown
France's Chirac ordered to face embezzlement trial
More International News...
FACTBOX: U.S. military operations in Latin America
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Clinton leaves Pakistan with pointed question on al Qaeda | Video
Olympics-Greek officials red-faced after Vancouver torch blunder
Simple Afghan mission turns deadly for U.S. soldiers | Video
Game is up for health insurers
U.S. economy stabilized but risks remain: Geithner
Insider trading and suicide in Canada: a buddy story
JP Morgan raised concerns about Galleon in 2001: report
"Boondock Saints" back for over-the-top crime spree
UPDATE 3-Las Vegas Sands loss widens, but shares rocket
UPDATE 2-Goldman trims CIT loan to $2.125 bln
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Inventor makes water out of air
Mafia shooting caught on CCTV
McDonald's closes in Iceland
House Democrats unveil health bill
Cleantech and Washington
Where is the Berlin Wall now?
Obama marks arrival of war dead
Israel, U.S. hold anti-missile drill
High waters threaten Argentine cows
Campaigning amid crisis in Honduras
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Afghanistan and Pakistan
Simple mission turns deadly in Afghanistan
Some 20 U.S. soldiers were sent to patrol a riverbed in the dead of night and provide backup in an insurgent hotbed. Less than 12 hours later, seven of them were dead. Full Article
Obama war strategy review nears end
Video: Obama marks arrival of dead
Factbox: Security developments
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Journalism Handbook |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.