Colombia: Judge deems US military bases unconstitutional

The judge entrusted by Colombia’s Constitutional Court to investigate the legality of an agreement to hand over seven military bases to the US military has deemed the pact unconstitutional because it was not approved by Congress.

The report was handed down by Judge Jorge Ivan Palacio on July 23, a day after Colombia unleashed its slanderous attacks that Venezuela was “harbouring narco-terrorists”.

Palacio’s report on the agreement will be reviewed by the nine-judge panel of the Constitutional Court, which has to deliver a ruling by August 17.

Palacio urged his fellow judges to suspend the ruling for one year to give Congress a chance to study the text, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

The military bases agreement has been the focal point of anger and tension in the region since it was announced in 2009 with little transparency and no Congressional approval.

In September 2009, Bolivian President Evo Morales said in response: “In Latin America, wherever a US base exists, there are coups … they do not guarantee peace or democracy”.

Venezuela and Ecuador have also expressed concern.

In March 2008, Colombia illegally bombed Ecuadorian territory and sent armed soldiers across the border to attack a guerrilla camp. The Colombian government did not notify the Ecuadorian government of its plans until after the fact.