This Tuesday, the Minister of Defense of Ecuador and responsible pro tempore of the South American Council of Defense (CDS), Javier Ponce Ceballos, affirmed that there is no arms race in the South America.
When talking to the other American Ministers of Defense, who meet in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in Bolivia, Ceballos assured that the countries of the region aren´t modernizing their Armed Forces with the purpose of unleashing aggressions to the neighbors.
He also discarded that the impulse to the nuclear energy in the region has war or military intentions.
On the other hand, he acknowledged that the presence of North American soldiers in bases in Colombia worries the Union of the South American Nations (UNASUR).
According to him, “Ecuador knows well this situation, since up to a little time ago a military base was working in Manta in service of the United States”.
He hopes that the North American military presence in Colombia really is for the combat to the drug trafficking and, in no way, has any interventionist goal.
The Secretary-general of the Organization of the American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, affirmed that the only justification for the increase of military expenses is the combat to the drug trafficking and connected crimes, with the strengthening of the internal security.
He participates, as observer, of the Ninth Conference of the American Ministers of Defense, which happens in Bolivia.
Insulza explained that the military expenses in the region are small if compared with other continents but, even so, it is necessary to strengthen the mechanisms of transparency.
Brazil is the country that more spends in weapons in the South America, with US$ 27.5 billions against US$ 6.7 billions of Colombia, which haves economical help of the United States. Chile comes at third place, with US$ 5.3 billions.
For José Miguel Insulza, it is necessary to perfect the Inter-American mechanisms that oblige the countries to hand over information about the military expenses.
According to him, the OAS is willing in supporting the approval of an Inter-American Convention on Military Expenses, if the member-countries wish so.
In his evaluation, the bank secrecy contributes with the drug trafficking and other related crimes, and its extinction would represent a hard blow to the criminals.