BBC NEWS | 8/27/2009 12:00:00 AM
Leaders to tackle US-Colombia deal
Nestled in the foothills of the Andes, the picturesque Argentine ski resort of Bariloche has plenty to offer visitors.--BBC NEWS.
The meeting has been called to discuss a planned accord between Colombia and the US that would allow the American military use of seven Colombian military bases - a deal that has already provoked some heated rhetoric, from, above all, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
For more than a decade, a limited number of US military personnel have been working alongside the Colombian security forces in their fight against drug-traffickers and left-wing rebels, as part of an accord known as Plan Colombia.
The agreement, which has also provided Colombia with millions of dollars in funding and military hardware, has helped to reduce violence and kidnapping and murder rates, according to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. It has also brought relative safety to Colombia's urban areas.
The latest deal to deploy US aircraft and personnel to Colombian bases comes as Ecuador ends a 10-year agreement allowing the Americans to use its Manta airbase as a regional hub for anti-drug surveillance operations.
For Bogota and Washington, the accord is merely a continuation of their current co-operation.
But it has provoked savage criticism, not only from Mr Chavez, but also Ecuador's President Rafael Correa and President Evo Morales of Bolivia.
Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay have been more measured but have also expressed their concern about the agreement's impact on the security of the region.
This unease forced Mr Uribe to undertake a week-long regional tour earlier this month to explain the details.
Read more here.
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
VIDEOS MÁS VISTOS
El fin de la banda del israelí Assi Moosh, el demonio de Taganga
Las grandes discusiones que le faltan a la tributaria
¿Es la hora de que Duque dé un timonazo?
El último acto público de Belisario Betancur
Los mejores líderes de 2018