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Colombia: Agreements and Treaties
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > International and Regional Security Relations > Agreements and Treaties


Colombia is involved in a number of international security instruments, especially in the Western Hemisphere, and is a member of its principal collective security agreement. In the face of a perceived communist threat following the end of World War II, in 1947 Colombia participated in founding the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty), which stipulates collective defense in the event of military aggression by an extrahemispheric power. Additionally, Colombia is a founding member of the Organization of American States (OAS—see Glossary), the regional organization responsible for determining when the Rio Treaty’s collective security provisions should be implemented, and is bound to the peaceful settlement of disputes among signatory nations by the American Treaty on Pacific Settlement, or Bogotá Pact, of 1948. Colombia also supports a number of the inter-American conventions on arms trafficking; drugs; conventional, chemical, and biological weapons; and terrorism. Colombia participates in the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security and supports its initiatives on antiterrorism, transregional crime, and confidence- and security-building measures. Colombia also ratified the Inter-American Human Rights Convention in 1978, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights made a series of important rulings ordering reparations for victims of human rights abuses or violations of due process by Colombia’s security forces.

In 1972 Colombia signed the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America, or Treaty of Tlatelolco, which prohibits the introduction of nuclear weapons into the region. The country also became a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1986.

Colombia and the OAS entered into an agreement in January 2005 that established a special OAS mission in Colombia to observe the paramilitary demobilization process. OAS activities include verification of the cease-fire, demobilization and disarmament, and the reintegration of combatants, as well as the proposal of confidence-building measures. The United Nations, for its part, decided to suspend its special mission in Colombia in April 2005 after five years of involvement in diverse efforts to help end the country’s conflict.

Colombia is a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court. In 2002 the government was granted the statute’s Article 124 exception, exempting Colombia from the court’s jurisdiction for seven years from the date of signing the treaty. Colombia argued that this temporary exclusion would facilitate future peace negotiations and act as an incentive to armed groups to negotiate within that time period. In order to avoid losing its U.S. military aid, in 2003 Colombia also accepted the Article 98 agreement with the United States, which stipulates that it pledges not to seek the prosecution of U.S. military personnel and other citizens in the International Criminal Court for human rights crimes.

Last Updated: January 2010

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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