The redefined role of Ecuador's military and police under the new Constitution

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 09/30/2008 - 12:33

On Sunday, Ecuadorians went to the polls to vote on the country's 20th Constitution, which has been one of President Rafael Correa's main projects since he was elected two years ago. With 96.26% of the votes counted, the 'yes' vote has 64.04% of the vote and the 'no' 28.01%.


Latin American leaders speak at the UN General Assembly

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 11:35

This week, many Latin American leaders had the opportunity to speak at the United Nation's 63rd General Assembly in New York. While the remarks of each president varied, a common thread among the speeches was the success of UNASUR and the future of regional cooperation.

Below you can find the link to a summary of each president's remarks in English. The linked pages also contain a .pdf of the full speech in Spanish.


United States: Bolivia does not cooperate with the drug war

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 11:36

Last week, we speculated about whether Bolivia would be placed on the United States' list of countries who have "failed demonstrably" to cooperate with U.S. anti-narcotics policy and the implications this might have, especially when comparing coca production and eradication and seizure levels of Bolivia with those of Peru and Colombia - top U.S. allies in the region.


Violence in Mexico

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 08:44

Drug related violence in Mexico has killed over 2,700 people this year. Just this week, over 30 people have been found dead: 24 of whom were found in a mass grave, bound and shot execution style, and 7 of whom were killed yesterday when a grenade exploded at an Independence Day celebration in Michoacán.


Bolivia's Crisis

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 13:56

Protests and demonstrations in Bolivia grew increasingly violent this week. Opponents of President Evo Morales in the resource-rich eastern provinces are pressing harder with autonomy demands after a recent recall referendum ratified both Morales and regional governors who oppose him. The latest protests have resulted in numerous casualties and significant property damage.


U.S. questions Venezuelan and Bolivian counter-narcotics strategies

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 09:54

Every year, the President is required by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to submit to Congress an annual report identifying (a) major drug-producing or transit countries and (b) those countries not "cooperating" with U.S. counternarcotics measures and subject to sanctions.


A third term for President Uribe? The debate continues.

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 09/03/2008 - 12:41

On October 16th of last year, Adam Isacson wrote a piece on the blog Plan Colombia and Beyond about the potential of a third term for Uribe. At the time, the "Party of the 'U'" had promised to collect the 1.3 million signatures necessary for a petition to amend Colombia's constitution to allow Uribe to run for again in 2010.


Foreign Military Sales in 2007

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 08/28/2008 - 14:18

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federation of American Scientists' Arms Sales Monitoring Program, we now have data about weapons and equipment that the U.S. government sold to the rest of the world through the Foreign Military Sales program in 2007.


The military's growing foreign aid role: a bibliography

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 08/26/2008 - 13:48

Over the past few years, Congress has acceded to several Defense Department requests to use its own budget to provide military assistance, something that it was not legally able to do on its own after 1961, when the Foreign Assistance Act became law.


Nicaragua's SAM-7 missiles

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 08/21/2008 - 08:25

Since the end of the Contra war in 1990, the United States has regularly prodded Nicaragua to destroy a large trove of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles that the Sandinista government received from the Soviet Union in the 1980s.