Image of the world map produced by the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.




[download the complete PDF]


report SRA 2021 / presentation

The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has had a major impact on the entire world and especially on American nations: three of the four countries with the most deaths - the United States, Brazil and Mexico, with more than one million deaths - are in the Western Hemisphere. Latin America has been the area most affected by the disease, in proportion to its population, and with the worst economic consequences. This status has meant, in terms of security, a special regional vulnerability to external powers and internal mafias.

If two years ago we launched this report of American Regional Security (ARS) stating that geopolitics had returned to the continent, due to the growing interest of China and Russia in the area of traditional US influence, it can now be said that these two extra-hemispheric powers have taken advantage of the health emergency to deploy a "diplomacy of vaccines" and consolidate their influence, while the US prepares its own flow of neighbouring financial aid , on the verge of concluding the inoculation of its population.

In this context, significant episodes occurred during 2020. China's food security demands have reinforced the presence of Chinese fishing fleets in the vicinity of the waters of several South American countries, whose fishing grounds are threatened by illegal fishing practices and alleged encroachment on their exclusive economic zones. This has led to some collective security movement and increased engagement with the US Southern Command.

On the other hand, organised crime has also taken advantage of the pandemic status , relying on the distraction of the authorities in another subject of efforts. In the last year, Paraguay has emerged as a major hub for cocaine outflows from the interior of the continent, while at the same time consolidating its position as South America's main producer of marijuana, at a time when this crop is emerging as a legal business opportunity in new countries. For their part, Guatemala and Honduras are consolidating their 'trials' in coca cultivation, making a leap - scarcely quantitative, but certainly qualitative - in the world of drug trafficking. The positive news is that the peace process and the confinements of the pandemic have reduced homicides in Colombia to historic lows.



summary executive

Covid makes Latin America more vulnerable to external powers and internal mafias


Maritime safety

China's uncontrolled fishing alerts governments with major fishing grounds under threat


Extra-hemispheric presence

Vaccine diplomacy: more 'Western' doses, but China and Russia consolidate penetration


Extra-hemispheric presence

Iran takes gold from a Venezuela that no longer has oil to pay for the favours.


US reaction

The US Southern Command is warning more about China's advance in the region.



US begins to prosecute MS-13 members as terrorists


Citizen security

Peace process and Covid reduce homicides in Colombia to historic lows


Drug trafficking

Coca cultivation 'trials' increase in Honduras and Guatemala, once only transit countries


Drug trafficking

Paraguay remains South America's largest marijuana producer

More blog entries