The Americas

The antimilitarist network of Latin America and the Caribbean is formed by antimilitarist and social groups in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Chile.

Lexys Rendón

Between 2003 and 2013 - while the rest of the world experienced a wave of economic crises - Latin America showed good economic indicators. The continent benefited from the “boom of price in raw materials”; historically, the region's main export products are energy resources like oil, gas, coal and other minerals, and this continues today. In 2011, for example, 13 of the 20 biggest companies in Latin America belonged to the oil, gas, mining and iron and steel sectors. The money that entered the region managed to reduce poverty; in 2012, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) affirmed that the continent showed the lowest percentage of poverty (28.8% of total population) in the last 30 years.

However, the high economic incomes were not only destined to reduce levels of extreme poverty, they were also intended to modernise the armed forces of Latin American countries by a significant increase in arms purchases. In a study carried out by Peace Laboratory, based on figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) it was revealed that Latin America had increased it's weapons purchases by 150%, spending $13.624 million between 2000 to 2010. Military spending worldwide in 2012 reached $1.7 billion, or 2.5% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Latin America, defence spending was about 4% of its total GDP, above the world average.

Return to Conscientious Objection: A Practical Companion for Movements

Rafael Uzcategui is a Venezuelan conscientious objector, author, and human rights activist who has been active with War Resisters' International, and in antimilitarism more generally, for many years. Here, he summarises the main tendencies of the Latin American conscientious objection movement, and details how his own nonviolent anarchist position fits into this picture.

During the eighties, many Latin American countries were living under military dictatorships or suffering the consequences of civil war. These were also the days of the Cold War, during which the US considered Latin America one of its 'zones of influence': almost like a back garden. The traumatic and progressive democratisation process meant that broad swathes of the continent's youth developed an antimilitarist sentiment, which began to take on an organised and political dimension. As an adolescent at the beginning of the nineties in Barquisimeto, a town 5 hours away from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, my peers and I had to hide ourselves twice a year for fifteen days, to avoid compulsory military service. Otherwise they would seize us on the streets and, without wasting words, force us into a truck, with others just as terrified, and from there take us to the barracks. For many of us, these forced recruitment raids or 'press gangs' were the starting point for our rejection of authority and of the military uniform.

The Latin American and Caribbean Anti-Militarist Network (RAMALC) with the antimilitarists from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Serbia and United States issued a solidarity statement with the mothers, fathers and relatives of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College disappeared in the State of Guerrero last year in September.

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Members of the RAMALC in solidarity with the victims of Ayotzinapa The Latin American and Caribbean Anti-Militarist Network (RAMALC), in the city of Mexico on September 23, 2015, with representatives from Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay Brazil, Bolivia, Serbian anti-militarists and United States, together with their peers from Mexico, would like to express our solidarity with the mothers, fathers and relatives of the 43 student teachers of the Ayotzinapa Rural

Cesar Padilla, Observatory of Mining Conflicts in Latin America, OCMAL

It is not news to say that extractivism in Latin America has been imposing an increasingly deeper model of extraction and export. The competition to be a destination of mining, oil-reserves, forestry or fishing investment is a characteristic of the majority of the countries in the region.

However, extractavism is receiving increasing criticism from broad sections of society including academia and social movements.

14th April marked the Global Day of Action on Military Spending.

Latin American antimilitarists shared this declaration: No queremos más armas para Latinoamérica!

Find below the report of an action against the Las Palmas Naval Base, and see here some photos of the evening action in Athens.

The Latin American antimilitarist network have written a declaration as part of today's Global Day of Action on Military Spending: No queremos más armas para Latinoamérica and read here (in Spanish with English info here) about an action in The Canaries. If you want to show your support for the day of action on social media, use #movethemoney and find out events are happening near you here.

Read No queremos más armas para Latinoamérica

Declaración de la Red Latinoamericana Antimilitarista por el día mundial de acción contra el gasto militar

La Red Latinoamericana Antimilitarista, red definida como una coordinación que promueve a través de diversas acciones el antimilitarismo en la sociedad, cuestionando la estructura militar y las prácticas de dominación en la región; hace un llamamiento a celebrar el día mundial contra el gasto militar diciendo: No queremos más armas para Latinoamérica.


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