Security Diplomacy Centerpiece of Colombia’s Foreign Policy

Security Diplomacy Centerpiece of Colombia’s Foreign Policy
Panama's police officers cross the Coello river during a training course in San Luis, Colombia, Dec. 2, 2009 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Last month, Colombia signed a deal with the European Union on crisis management and counterinsurgency cooperation. In an email interview, Arlene Beth Tickner, professor at the University of the Andes in Colombia, discussed Colombia’s military cooperation.

WPR: How extensive is Colombia's military cooperation, and what countries are its main military partners?

Arlene Beth Tickner: Since the mid-2000s, Colombia has received increasing numbers of requests for security cooperation from governments of distinct ideological stripes throughout Latin America and other parts of the globe. Between 2009 and 2013 alone, it provided police and military training to nearly 22,000 individuals from 47 different countries in areas such as ground, air, maritime and river interdiction; police testimony; explosives; intelligence operations; psychological operations; and Comando JUNGLA, the country’s elite counternarcotics police program originally designed by the United States. The majority of this training was provided by the Colombian National Police, not the army.

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