For decades, the United States has trained, equipped, and armed Latin America’s militaries, with little serious oversight and public debate. We know, however, that military aid is not incidental to foreign policy nor to our image abroad. Military aid to abusive forces, for example, associates the United States with human rights abuses. An increasing focus of U.S. aid to the region for military rather than humanitarian purposes reinforces an image of the United States as narrowly preoccupied with its own security, rather than seeing its security as tied to the welfare of the hemisphere’s people.
To bring more accountability and transparency to U.S. military aid, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), along with the Center for International Policy (CIP) and Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) are maintaining the Latin America section of the Security Assistance Monitor. The Security Assistance Monitor is a citizen effort to oversee the United States’ military relationships abroad and to provide you—the American public—with tools at your fingertips to understand it.This website provides a database of U.S. military and economic aid to the region as well as a wealth of information and analysis.
Visit the Security Assistance Monitor to learn more.
As part of this project, we also publish trends reports on U.S. military aid to Latin America:
- Time to Listen: Trends in U.S. Security Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean (PDF) ; Hora de Escuchar: Tendencias en Asistencia de Seguridad de los EE.UU. hacia América Latina y el Caribe (PDF) (2013)
- A Cautionary Tale: Plan Colombia’s Lessons for Mexico and Beyond (PDF) ; Un Relato Aleccionador: Las Lecciones del Plan Colombia para la Política Exterior Estadounidense hacia México y Otros Países (PDF) (2011)
- Waiting for Change (PDF) ; Esperando el Cambio (PDF) (2010)
- Ready, Aim, Foreign Policy! (PDF) ; La Política Exterior se Viste de Camuflado (PDF) (2008)
- Below the Radar (PDF) ; Por Debajo del Radar (PDF) (2007)
- Erasing the Lines (PDF) ; Borrando las Divisiones (PDF) (2005)
- Blurring the Lines (PDF) ; Diluyendo las Divisiones (PDF) (2004)
- Paint by Numbers (PDF) (2003)
See also these statements and speeches: