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Unasur is waiting for ratification

Latin America can buy US$ 35 billions in arms

Latin America can buy US$ 35 billions in arms

Marcelo Rech


In June, the Organization of the American States (OAS), joins its integrants in Lima, Peru, to discuss the self-restructuring, but the principal subject will be the acquisition of weapons in the region.


The region must spend in the next years around US$ 35 billions with the arms purchase.


Weigh the more than 180 million poor persons, 35 million of indigents and the death of 160 thousand children every year for lack of primary health attention.


The United States, that compete in the auction of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), for the sale of the bombardier fighter F-18, is one of the countries that sells more armaments to the region.


Besides the F-18, also the F-16, both very sophisticated, are marketed with the Latin-Americans.


Holland, France, Italy, Spain and Russia, also have millionaire contracts with the governments of the region.


Brazil bought Russian war helicopters, and Russia plans to install a factory of armaments in the country to increase the sales in the neighborhood.


From France, Brazil bought conventional and nuclear submarines, helicopters and perhaps buy 36 fighters Rafale.


For Venezuela, the Russians already sold US$ 5 billions in armaments.


Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru, also have projects in progress for the acquisition of war equipments.


In spite of the force that shows to have – they are 800 employees, US$ 180 millions of budget and offices in 34 countries of Americas – the OAS is far from influencing in this question.


It suits to emphasize that the article 2 of the Foundation Letter of the organization, obliges all the countries to limit their expenses in defense to apply them in programs of economical and social development.


South American council of Defense


On the other side, the brand new South American Council of Defense will reunite on the days 6 and 7, in Quito, to discuss the proceedings that will be adopted about the measures of Incitement of Confidence and Security.


Last week, representatives of the countries that integrate the Unasur met in the Ecuadorian capital to draw the document that will be approved by the Ministers.


The principal objective is to minimize the existence of an arms race in the region.


For so much, it will be created a database about the acquisition of conventional weapons and military equipments.


Joint exercises inside the Unasur or out of it, will be carried out in accordance with the standards approved by the South American Council of Defense.


The basic respected tripod to avoid tensions in the region, predicts the proscription of the use of the force, the creation of a free zone of nuclear areas, and the guarantee of sovereignty and of non-intervention.


The Unasur is still waiting for an answer of the United States on an eventual dialog about security and defense.


Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies and Policies of Defense and Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency. E-mail:

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