Los civiles y militares en América Latina: avances y retrocesos en materia de control civil

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Arturo C. Sotomayor Velázquez


In his essay on the state of civil-military relations in Latin America, Sotomayor Velázquez points out that while these are no longer chaotic, they are not fully stable either. The armed forces are no longer in a conspiratorial mode, but neither are they complacent with the state of democracy. Progress in achieving full civilian control over the military has been seen in only a handful of chosen countries, with some states implementing more aggressive reforms to their military institutions than others. While uniformed personnel in Latin America have accepted the arrival of democracy, they have done so conditionally, while retaining institutional autonomy, prerogatives and reserve domains. Although elected leaders have greater authority by nature of their positions in democratic regimes, in the author’s view, Latin America still has weak institutions and exercises weak ministerial civilian control over the armed forces. Likewise, civilians share responsibility because they have shown apathy towards military issues and defense policy, leading military officers to disregard civilian opinions. Sotomayor Velázquez concludes that the new democracies of Latin America still have a long way to go in crafting and designing appropriate missions and roles for the armed forces. Institutional accountability is lacking in most countries, especially in terms of defense budgets and military spending. Consequently, the region still faces important challenges in terms of civil-military relations, as defense reform is still required in order to ensure military compliance.

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Sotomayor Velázquez, Arturo C. 2022. «Los Civiles Y Militares En América Latina: Avances Y Retrocesos En Materia De Control Civil». Revista Mexicana De Política Exterior, n.º 83 (marzo):41-83. https://revistadigital.sre.gob.mx/index.php/rmpe/article/view/667.