Resorting to a term more appropriate in the field of business, it is very positive and desirable for a binational relationship to mature to the point where it can be classified as a win-win; a scenario where both states achieve harmonious work, obtaining mutual benefits that can be transferred to their respective institutions.
In this sense, you don't need to be a devoted scholar of international relations to know that the relationship between Colombia and the United States has a history with more than one beginning, and has not always progressed in a forward direction. On occasion, in fact, it has been the opposite.
However, just as the above should be acknowledged, it is right to state that in recent times, and often far from the spotlight, this relationship has been known to take steps in a direction that, without a doubt, is right. Of course, narcotics trafficking continues to be essential to the agenda, but it is fair to highlight that this is no longer the great straitjacket that it was for many years. And this reality has had a positive impact.
In this new context, there has been work done to fight against the tentacles of organized crime, especially those that have penetrated the financial system of both countries.
Here, the increasingly relevant fight against corruption enters the scene, once again, one more expression of this calamity. The recent statements of the U.S. ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker, announcing, among other things, that those who are formally accused by the attorney general's office will lose their visas, is one more signal that, in huge efforts like the fight against corruption, Colombia has a very important ally in America. It is a toughening of the screening process — a consequence of the new politics of Donald Trump, some will say. But that doesn't exclude the old adage that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Now we are faced with a measure that can serve both countries since those fleeing to the United States are often people who are investigated and later found guilty. Of course, and this should be clear, for those who are not guilty, there are opportunities to wipe the
slate clean in the databases of U.S. immigration authorities.
Likewise, it is important to say that in a few cases, the balance of the aforementioned investigative efforts is not only balanced but even inclined toward Colombia. This was the case in the recent episode in which joint work led to the capture of the district attorney's former anti-corruption director, Luis Gustavo Moreno.
Finally, it should be noted that, far from the overbearing tones of other times, this time Whitaker presented the clear position of his government, but did so in a show of respect for the sovereignty of the country to decide on them. It's about two sensitive issues: the aerial spraying of illicit crops and the extradition of members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia requested by the U.S. Department of Justice. The tone gives legitimacy to his warning, well-founded and worrisome, about the attempts of drug traffickers to sneak into the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.*
*Translator's note: The Special Jurisdiction for Peace is a transitional judicial system that tries and prosecutes people who committed human right violations during the civil war.