The military in Latin America

What's the mission?

Perhaps more than at any other time in recent decades, the purpose and role of the armed forces is up for debate. Most Latin American constitutions describe the role of the armed forces as being to protect the nation in cases of external war. The reality, fortunately, is that there have been very few conventional conflicts between rival states in the region during the last century. The list is comparatively short and includes the Ecuador-Peru border skirmishes (1995), the South Atlantic or Falklands/Malvinas war (Argentina and Britain, 1982), the so-called ‘Football War’ (El Salvador and Honduras, 1969) and the Chaco War (Bolivia and Paraguay, 1932-35).

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