Colombia and Paraguay signed a declaration on Tuesday pledging to enhance bilateral cooperation primarily on security matters, but also in commerce, investment and tourism.
The agreement follows the resolution of a recent diplomatic dispute between the two countries that occurred prior to February’s Río Group Summit in Mexico. At the summit, Paraguayan Minister of Defense Luis Bareiro objected to the presence in Paraguay of Colombian military advisors, who had been assisting the Paraguayan military in efforts to capture members of the armed group Ejército Paraguayo del Pueblo (EPP). In an effort to patch things up, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo then met with Colombia’s Álvaro Uribe in Mexico, after which he publicly thanked Colombia for its assistance.
After signing the agreement today in Asunción, Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez urged Paraguay to continue its efforts to weaken the EPP, which officials allege has been responsible for numerous kidnappings and attacks on police in recent years.