“The Cold War is over but Cold War thinking survives”
In mid-August, the navies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay — and Colombia as an observer country — took part in the Transamerica XI Maritime Traffic Naval Control Exercise. Ecuador organized and hosted the exercise.
Instead of honoring the “green promise” it made at the United Nations on September 22, 2020, to become a zero-emission economy, China has been increasing its pollution levels.
Diálogo met with Colonel Henri van Axeldongen, commander of the Suriname National Army at the South American Defense Conference held in Miami, Florida on August 17-18, where he spoke about regional challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects of the space domain on national security.
In late July, the Paraguayan National Police made the largest cocaine seizure in the South American country with the discovery of more than 3 tons of the drug in the Asunción Metropolitan Area, the state-run news outlet Agencia de Información Paraguaya said in a statement.
Colombia has the largest area of coca crops in the world, with 143,000 hectares cultivated forthe main raw material for cocaine production. Of the 20 Colombian states where illicit crops have been identified, Norte de Santander, bordering Venezuela, has the largest cultivated area, about 40,000 hectares.
In early August, the Colombian Navy dealt another harsh blow to narcotrafficking in the Pacific coast of Colombia with the seizure of more than 4.3 tons of drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, as well as a Self Propelled Semi Submersible (SPSS) and four speedboats.
Iran has expanded its influence in Latin America with a double threat: extremist ideology and alliance with criminal groups. According to analysts, Tehran conducts illicit business with Venezuela, supports the expansion of the terrorist group Hezbollah into the region, and benefits from illegal mining.
The Command Against Drug Trafficking and Transnational Threats (CONAT, in Spanish) began operations in Colombia on February 26, 2021, as an elite force consisting of 7,000 men and women of the Colombian Army to lead the fight against armed groups, carry out interdiction operations against narcotrafficking organizations, conduct strategic eradication operations of illicit crops, and combat illegal mining. To talk about CONAT, Diálogo visited the command premises and spoke with its commander, Colombian Army Brigadier General Juan Carlos Correa Consuegra.
The pandemic triggered a massive shift toward digital transactions around the world, presenting opportunities and challenges for users and companies of all sizes. In Honduras, for example, digital banking has opened the door to a new payment and consumption style. Experts estimate that seven out of 10 banking services are made possible due to digital banking in the Central American country, the Honduran newspaper La Tribuna reported on August 13, 2021.
“It’s very important to share your story and encourage all other women and men in the world to think about the role you’re playing in your organization, family, and community.” These were the opening remarks of Surinamese Minister of Defense Krishna Mathoera, speaking at the first forum of senior leaders held by U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Program on September 7. “Over the past years, we have made continuous efforts in addressing not only the issues regarding the woman and peace agenda; and war, peace, and security agenda, but also strengthening the position of women in various defense and security institutions. The inclusion of women in security institutes is not a legal issue, but more of a policy decision,” said Minister Mathoera.
Modern international law came into existence at the end of the Thirty Years’ War in Europe.1 Horrified by the unprecedented destruction of a series of wars over religion, European negotiators at Westphalia coined the phrase “cuius regio, eius religio.”2 Literally translated, it means “whose realm, his religion.” It could be loosely translated to mean, “No more interference in the internal affairs of other nations. We leave them alone and they leave us alone.” The legal term for this principle is sovereignty, or the legal supremacy of a government over its actions and policies within its territory. As a practical matter, it meant that seventeenth-century governments in Europe were legally free to persecute their citizens for their religion without concern for international repercussions. The goal of the Westphalia negotiators was to ensure that there would be no repeat of the Thirty Years’ War or any similar struggle.