Confidence-Building Measures in Latin America: Central America and the Southern Cone

in Program

Stimson Report 16

Edited by Augusto Varas, James A. Schear, and Lisa Owens

Though more tranquil and democratic than at any point in its recent past, Latin America faces many challenges. The states of the region continue to wrestle with the problems created by extremes of wealth and poverty and by ongoing disputes over territorial claims, resource exploitation, border demarcation, and uncontrolled flows of populations across borders. There are also lingering suspicions created by years of hostility, isolation, and military rule. It is therefore very encouraging that the states of the region are making major efforts to engage each other in new diplomatic efforts aimed at creating a more cooperative basis for international security in this hemisphere. A recent decision by the Organization of American States (OAS) to make permanent a Committee on Hemispheric Security is only one example of these efforts. Other regions in which tensions are rife could profitably review the progress made in Latin America.

The Stimson Center, working together with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) – Chile, co-sponsored a conference of leading academics and military officers to investigate the applicability of CBMs to the security problems faced by Latin American states. This event, held in Santiago, Chile, in August 1992, was notable for the dialogue it inspired and for a number of highly informative papers by regional experts on various aspects of the confidence building. These papers, in updated form, were published in mid-1994 by FLACSO-Chile under the title Medidas de Confianze Mutua en America Latina. In this volume, we present a cross-section of the papers, in excerpted form and translated into English, for a readership in North America and other regions. Argentine, Brazilian, and Chilean perspectives on CBMs are represented in this volume, as is the Chilean military view of “The Armed Forces and CBMs in Chile.” American experts cover confidence building in Central America and in the Maritime domain.

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