For over two centuries, the U.S.-Colombia relationship has remained strong even through the political, economic, and security challenges each country has faced. In 2022, Colombia and the United States celebrated the bicentennial of their bilateral diplomatic relations, and President Biden designated Colombia a major non-NATO ally “in recognition of the importance of the U.S.-Colombia relationship and Colombia’s crucial contributions to regional and international security.”
The Honorable Juan Carlos Pinzón, a key actor in said partnership, is currently serving his second term as ambassador of Colombia to the United States. Pinzón previously served as Colombia’s ambassador to Washington from 2015 to 2017, when he oversaw the approval of Peace Colombia, a U.S.-funded package for Colombia’s security and development. Previously, he served as Colombia’s minister of defense.
On July 29, Brookings hosted a discussion between Ambassador Pinzón and Brookings Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown and moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon. The participants discussed how the Biden administration and Colombia’s next administration — under the leadership of President-elect Gustavo Petro — can further strengthen the bonds between both countries, what the priorities of this partnership should be, and how they can work together to address the international drug trade and Colombia’s escalating armed conflict. The discussion was followed by questions from the in-person and virtual audience.
ModeratorMichael E. O’Hanlon Director of Research - Foreign Policy, Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy
PanelistJuan Carlos Pinzón Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, Former Minister of Defense - Republic of ColombiaVanda Felbab-Brown Director - Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology