November 25, 2009
Peru’s Minister of Production, Mercedes Aráoz confirmed yesterday that Peru will formally propose a South American regional security force at the meeting of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) Defense Council in Ecuador next Friday. “The idea is to have in the framework of Unasur a clear agenda of non-aggression among the region’s countries, consolidated in a Peace Protocol”, said Aráoz. “The Peace, Security and Cooperation Protocol,” created by Peruvian President Alan García, aims to reduce military expenditure by all UNASUR members in addition to the creation of a regional security force.
The proposal has reportedly been well received by leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Colombia and Uruguay. Minister Aráoz most recently met with Uruguayan President Tabaré Vásquez and said the President “received the proposal with great enthusiasm.”
The proposal comes at a time of diplomatic tension in the region. Peru’s recent allegations of Chilean espionage and incidents between Venezuela and Colombia have strained political relations in South America. In such cases, “intervening with the peace force could help to ease tempers and the situation,” said Minister Aráoz.