Excerpts on Latin America from Clinton confirmation hearing

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 14:27

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its hearing to confirm Senator Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Obama administration's Secretary of State. During the hearing, Clinton focused on such topics as the conflicts in the Middle East, energy independence, and more mundane issues like potential conflicts of interest with Bill Clinton's international foundation.


The President-Elect's first meeting with a foreign leader

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 12:01

Here is another contribution from CIP Intern Matthew McClellan on Monday's meeting between Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.


Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Uribe

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 09:35

At 1:00 p.m. today, President Bush will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, along with two former prime ministers: Tony Blair of the UK and John Howard of Australia.


The region's defense budgets

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 15:43

During the past few weeks, we noticed a significant increase in discussion of defense budgets throughout the hemisphere. In most countries, defense spending is on the increase. Here is an overview of recent media coverage from CIP Intern Matthew Mcclellan. The combined defense budgets of South American states increased from US$39 billion in 2007 to US$50 billion in 2008.


Looking Back: Bush's Foreign Policy Toward Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:36

Yesterday National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he looked back on the "core convictions that have formed the basis of President Bush's foreign policy - what this administration has accomplished in key regions of the world - and what opportunities and challenges await the next administration." While his reminiscence spanned everything from the war in Iraq, to Russia, to relations with Europe, Hadley also revisited President Bush's policies tow


Body Counts and Paramilitary Ties in Colombia

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:22

Yesterday, the National Security Archive posted four declassified documents on its website showing that the U.S. government was aware since 1994 of allegations that members of the Colombian military frequently collaborated with paramilitary groups, and killed civilians to present the bodies as dead guerrillas.


The spread of drug-related violence in Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 12:38

Violence in Mexico increased substantially during 2008 and it appears that the rise may continue well into 2009, as the Mexican government combats the country's powerful drug cartels. However, as pressure on narcotraffickers increases in both Mexico and Colombia, drug-related violence has seeped into many of the countries' neighbors, a topic that emerged in various media articles across the region this week.


2008 in Review

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 01/05/2009 - 14:01

Here is our list of the most significant news stories in 2008 relating to U.S. policy and security in Latin America.


Civil-military relations roundup

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 12/15/2008 - 21:06

The degree of politicization of the Armed Forces is such that in November, constant insults from a group of people forced the commander of the Armed Forces to leave a restaurant in Santa Cruz.


A deep cut in aid to Nicaragua

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Sun, 12/14/2008 - 04:42

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government economic-aid program begun during the first years of the Bush administration. It offers several-year "contracts" of aid to countries that meet a list of good governance criteria, then submit and receive approval for aid proposals. (See our MCC aid data here.)