Country Listing

Colombia Table of Contents



According to the Constitution of 1886, the president of the Republic of Colombia serves as the commander in chief of the country's armed forces. In addition to this obligation to maintain public order, the president is empowered to provide for the country's external security. The president has the right to declare war, with the consent of the Senate, or, if deemed necessary to repel a foreign invasion, without such consent. The president also has constitutional authority to conclude and ratify peace treaties and is responsible for reporting to Congress on the conclusion of such pacts. Military promotions for general and flag officers as well as military appointments are conferred by the president of the republic, subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

According to Article 121, in case of foreign war or domestic strife, the president, with the approval of the cabinet, is authorized to declare a state of siege in all or part of the republic, thereby placing it under martial law. Article 122 empowers the president, also upon approval of the cabinet, to declare a state of emergency in response to events that pose an imminent threat to the social and economic order (see The Executive , ch. 4).

Data as of December 1988