Sunday, 6 June 2010

Peace for Latin America?


total arms exports in millions of dollars worldwide

I don't know who would be against peace and real integration in Latin America, but I have a hunch about who is profiting from tensions between Latin American countries and who is profiting from Latin Americans spending billions and billions in weapons instead of books, schools and medicine.

Blogger Miguel (the Devil's Excrement) published some time ago an interesting post with a letter by Nobel prize winner Oscar Arias to the Uruguayan president proposing him to dismantle the army as Costa Rica did many years ago. Like Miguel, I also think our Latin American countries don't need armies: a very efficient, well educated security force as in Costa Rica or Iceland would do. Armies have just generated dictators and profits for the weapons industry.

The first picture shows the main arms exporting countries and the approximate amounts in billions of dollars.

Weapons as percentage of total exports

The second picture shows the percentage the weapons industry has in the total exports of each of those countries that sell the most weapons. The percentages I came up with seem like just a little but a percentage less or more does mean a lot for most countries, specially if they depend more on exports. Let's be clear: we will unfortunately stll need weapons, but we could save many billions if we started to get rid of our milicos.

Latin Americans have to think about this and they have to think about this very very very loud.

El País writes about how Spain's arms industry is having a wonderful year in spite of the recession. Among other things, Spain sold to Venezuela almost one million euros in anti-riot equipment (students, you know what you are going to get: made in Spain) and the Spanish government authorized the sale of 7 ships for the Venezuelan army for 925 million euros.
Once Chávez is gone expect US and Israeli arms companies as well as those of the other companies showns here to queue up to sell toys for our military, toys I doubt we need so much.

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