Latin America's Increased Role in UN Peace Operations: Current Trends and a Note of Caution
Sotomayor, Arturo C.
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Latin America is an active participant in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations (PKO). Blue helmets from South and Central America are currently deployed in various UN-sponsored missions around the world. T his picture contrasts markedly from past decades, when military institutions were widely known for intervening in domestic affairs via coups, rather than for promoting human rights and democracy abroad. Historically, the region has been a recipient, not an exporter, of foreign troops. Throughout the 1990s, peacekeeping (PK) soldiers were deployed to pacify Central America and the Andes; to date, Central American and Andean blue helmets are pacifying regions within and beyond the Western Hemisphere. Hence, Latin America has now become an exporter of peace, not because instability and violence ha\'e diminished at home, but because governments across the region have gradually increased their troop commitment to UN peace efforts. At a time when military budgets in North America and Europe are in decline, Latin America's commitment to international security appears to be rising. This could signify a new era for regional security affairs, with Latin American states increasingly engaged in world politics and the armed forces exposed to globalizing trends.
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