Venezuelans leaving the country to seek a livelihood in a host country [UNHCR UNHCR].

Venezuelans leaving the country to look for a livelihood in a place of refuge [UNHCR UNHCR].


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May 2020




The Covid-19 pandemic has radically altered security assumptions around the world. The emergence of the coronavirus moved from China to Europe, then to the United States and then to the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Already economically handicapped by its dependence on commodity exports since the beginning of the Chinese slowdown, Latin America suffered from the successive restrictions in the different geographical areas, and finally also entered a crisis of production and consumption and a health and labour catastrophe. The region is expected to be one of the hardest hit, with effects also in the field of security.

This annual report , however, focuses on American regional security in 2019. Although in some respects it includes events from the beginning of 2020, and therefore some early effects of the pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on issues such as regional geopolitics, state budgetary difficulties, organised crime and citizen security can be found at report next year.

To the extent that other security developments in 2019 have been somewhat transitory in recent months, Venezuela has remained the main focus of regional insecurity over the past year. At report we analyse Iran's return to the Caribbean country, after first China and then Russia preferred not to see their own economic interests harmed; we also note the consolidation of the ELN and part of the ex-FARC as binational Colombian-Venezuelan groups.

In addition, we highlight the progress made in the first time that Hezbollah has been designated by several countries as a terrorist organisation, group , and we provide figures on the drop in Russian arms sales to Latin America and the relative lack of marketing in the region of the defence material produced by Spain. We also quantify the contribution of Latin American troops to UN peacekeeping missions, as well as Bolsonaro's success and AMLO's failure in the evolution of homicides in Brazil and Mexico. In terms of drug trafficking, 2019 saw the first coca crop eradication operation in the VRAEM, the most complicated area of Peru in the fight against drugs.





Latin America's largest insecurity hotspot persists in Venezuela



Iran returns to Venezuela as a last resort after the end of credits from China and Russia

Emili J. Blasco



The designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist throughout the Western Hemisphere brings together strategies

Mauricio Cardarelli



ELN and ex-FARC have 1,700 troops in Venezuela, one third local recruits

María Gabriela Fajardo



Russia became an important arms supplier for Latin America, but its sells have dropped

Peter Cavanagh



Spanish arms exports to Latin America, below the peak of 2015 

Álvaro Fernández



Latin America contributes only 3% of the contingent of UN peacekeeping missions

Jaime Azpiri



Bolsonaro reduces homicides by 19.2% and López Obrador sees them rise by 2.5%.

T. Dias de Assis, M. Kropiwnicka



Peru eradicates coca plants for the first time in the VRAEM, Shining Path's area of action

Eduardo Villa Corta

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