Hudson Institute hosted a panel to discuss the future of the U.S.-Colombia alliance. The discussion, in collaboration with Hudson’s Center for Latin American Studies, was moderated by Senior Fellow Lee Smith.
For decades, the Bogota government has been Washington’s closest Latin American ally on core issues likes counter-narcotics, terrorism, and Central American stability. However, there are now signs of unrest. Domestically, Colombian president Ivan Duque has been compelled to manage peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that he inherited from his predecessor. Increased coca production has encouraged organized crime while the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in neighboring Venezuela continues to generate instability in Colombia and the region.
Even with Colombia’s active support of the U.S.-led anti-Maduro coalition, the Trump administration has expressed growing frustration towards its ally, noting recently that “more drugs are coming out of Colombia right now than before [Duque] was president.” Going forward, the issue for U.S. policymakers will be how to preserve key gains made over the last two decades to protect the U.S.-Colombia strategic alliance.