Perspectives from Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia: Hemispheric Security

  • July 01, 2003
  • Dr Luiz Bitencourt, AMB Pedro Villagra Delgado, Maj Gen Henry Medina Uribe

There is a lack of a common view regarding precisely "What is a threat?" and "What is security?" which is the heart of the stability problem in Latin America. These authors acknowledge that the traditional definition of security and threat is no longer completely valid. They understand that a more realistic concept includes the protection of national sovereignty against unconventional internal causes and attackers. They also recognize that a close linkage exists among security, development, and democracy. Nevertheless, they were reluctant to take a broadened definition of national security to its logical conclusion. That is, to correspondingly broaden and integrate the roles of the national security forces into an internal sovereignty protection mission. Colombians now understand that that role is what makes stability, development, and democracy possible. The security-stability equation in Latin America is extremely volatile and dangerous. In terms of the kind of environment that is essential to the entire North American strategy for the hemisphere, that stability situation is deserving of much more attention than it has had in the recent past.