Interventions in Latin America are Over, Says Allamand with Panetta

By Dialogo
April 30, 2012

The days of military interventions have ended in Latin America, and no country in the world can guarantee international security on its own, Chilean Defense Minister Andrés Allamand declared at a joint press conference with his U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta on April 26.

The Pentagon chief, on his first trip to Latin America, reiterated for his part that the United States no longer wants to prevent the development of military capabilities in the region and that it seeks “innovative security partnerships” with its allies.

Panetta arrived in Santiago from Rio de Janeiro. He met with President Sebastián Piñera at La Moneda Palace and then with Allamand at the Military Academy.

“In Latin America, the time of military interventions, whether of internal or external origin, has ended,” Allamand said.

“If any isolated country was able to guarantee international security (in the past), that’s no longer the case,” he added.

“This is no longer an approach by the United States, where we’re saying to countries (in the region), don’t develop your military,” Panetta said for his part.

Washington wants to build “innovative security partnerships” in regions such as Latin America, Asia, and Africa in response to the heavy defense cuts it will have to suffer over the next decade, he acknowledged.

Panetta reiterated his country’s interest in the Chilean experience of fighting natural disasters and Chile’s contribution to peace-keeping forces and to the fight against drug trafficking.

Creating a continent-wide coordinating body is the objective of the next conference of regional defense ministers in Montevideo in October.

Panetta proposed alliances of this kind during his respective visits to Bogotá, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro, with different results.