Latin America’s Experience with Peace Support Operations

From peacekeeping recipients to peace exporters

Authored by: Arturo C. Sotomayor

Routledge Handbook of Latin American Security

Print publication date:  July  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415718691
eBook ISBN: 9781315867908
Adobe ISBN: 9781317965091


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In recent years Latin America as a region has become an active participant of multilateral sponsored peace and humanitarian operations. Latin American peacekeepers are currently deployed in various UN missions in Haiti, Africa, and Asia. This picture contrasts markedly from past decades, when military institutions were more widely known for intervening in domestic affairs via coups than for promoting human rights and democracy abroad. Historically, the region has been a recipient of foreign troops. To date, Latin America has become an exporter of peace, not because instability and violence have diminished, but because governments across the region have gradually increased their commitment to peace efforts. Peace commitments from Latin America have instituted what might be termed as military diplomacy in the region, in which international security coordination efforts have been put in place by the region’s defense and military establishments. The expansion of Latin America’s contributions to peacekeeping efforts is notable, but not without controversy. Political, structural, and military challenges persist. This chapter will thus address the following questions: What conditions explain Latin America’s increased role in peacekeeping operations? What lessons have been learned? What are the region’s most serious challenges?

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