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Colombia: Treaty Obligations
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Organization of the Armed Forces


Colombia supported the two principal collective security agreements that have affected the interests of the Western Hemisphere nations since 1945. In March 1945, Colombia signed the wartime Act of Chapultepec. In the event of an attack upon an American state, this act provided for consultation among the member nations of the hemisphere in order to formulate a collective response. Following the end of World War II (and the resulting termination of the Chapultepec agreement), Colombia signed the 1947 Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty). The Rio Treaty provided for collective defense in the event of an armed attack by an extra-hemispheric power.

The Rio Treaty bound Colombia to certain provisions for the peaceful settlement of disputes among signatory nations. In 1948 Colombia was a founding member of the Organization of American States (OAS), the regional organization responsible for determining when the Rio Treaty's collective security provisions should be implemented. As a member of both the OAS and the UN, Colombia was obligated first to seek redress for defense-related grievances at the regional forum before presenting them to the UN.

In 1972 Colombia signed the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty), which prohibits the introduction of nuclear weapons into the region. Colombian administrations, however, refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which was opened for signature in 1970. Nevertheless, though it refrained from endorsing the treaty, the Colombian government apparently accepted some of the treaty's provisions for safeguards and inspections that were carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In 1974 Colombia joined with seven other Latin American countries in issuing the Declaration of Ayacucho, an agreement to promote peace in the hemisphere by limiting armaments. By 1975 the declaration's signers had reached a consensus on prohibiting a range of weapons and equipment, including nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons; ballistic missiles; aircraft carriers; cruisers; and nuclear submarines. Colombia also remained adamant in opposing the introduction of strategic missiles into the region -- a move favored by neighboring Venezuela -- as well as all models of bomber aircraft. In September 1980, Colombia joined with three of the declaration's original signers plus Costa Rica in agreeing upon the Charter of Conduct, which reaffirmed support for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and for the principles of the 1974 declaration.

Data as of December 1988

Last Updated: December 1988

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Colombia was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 156 of 188


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