The military in Latin America

Latinobarómetro on institutions

The role of the military is often determined by civilians, in more ways than one. Political divisions in civil society can create an ‘entry point’ for different types of military influence or intervention. During the long history of 20th century military coups, it was often the civilian leaders of different lobby groups who, seeing their cause frustrated or blocked under the democratic rules of the game, decided to break those rules, invite military rulers to intervene, and deliver a different outcome. In countries like Argentina, representatives of business, farming groups, exporters, or even labour unions, were said to be on a constant lookout for a ‘friendly colonel’ or general who might favour their cause.

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