· Central American Armies Form New Military Alliance In mid-November, armies from four northern countries in Central America--Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua--formed a new military alliance, the Conferencia de las Fuerzas Armadas de Centroamerica (CFAC). The alliance will promote joint efforts to fight security problems that currently threaten the entire region, such as drug trafficking, while paving the way for cooperative military action in other areas when necessary, such as UN-supervised "peacekeeping operations."
Police Systems and Comparative Studies of the Role of Police Systems for the
Society of Belize, Central America Report # 7 1998, produced by the Belize
Development Trust. This report
argues that the police force must be
obedient to the voters in the community in which they serve. Police
have discretion. In Belize this discretion comes from an absentee
power in Belmopan. In the USA, this control comes from the
local, city, town, or village citizens.
Governments Debate Measures to Confront Rising Crime Central American
governments and their critics are debating the causes of the dramatic increase
in crime, while legislatures are debating laws to impose heavier prison
sentences and to spend more money on police.
for International Policy. Security in Latin America Documents. Since its founding in 1975, the Center for International
Policy has earned a reputation for hard-hitting analysis and effective advocacy
on a range of issues. Staff members include former senior diplomats and
intelligence officers as well as younger academics and activists. This pairing
of senior-level insiders with outsiders is key to the Center's success over the
years, for it gives staff access to key decision-makers in the executive and
legislative branches and credibility with the media, all essential to effective
advocacy in Washington. Promoting human rights has been one of the overarching
themes of the Center's work. Rather than human rights monitoring, which a number
of organizations do so well, the Center has tried to spotlight the causes of
abuses and has advocated policies to reduce violations. Another related theme
has been promoting peaceful diplomatic rather than military solutions to foreign
policy conflicts in the Third World.
Collective security: Central America
Central American Security Treaty Department of State, Office of the Under
Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Bureau of Arms
Counterarcotics: Central America
Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1996: Canada, Mexico and Central America.
Canda, Mexico, and Central America International Narcotics Control Strategy
Report, 1996. Released by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State Washington, DC, March 1997.
Military roles: Central America
Militares Buscan Identificar a sus "Nuevos Enemigos" “Central
America: the Military Seeks to Identify its ‘New Enemies’ ”. By Thelma Mejía, member of Central American Dialogue for
Security and De-Militarization. 1
Peace processes: Central America
and Reintegration in Central America by Denise Spencer, February 1997.
Denise Spencer is a political scientist currently working on issues of
civil-military relations in Mexico. She
conducted the research for this paper while working for the Bonn International
Center for Conversion.
U.S. security assistance: Central America
America: Current Trends and Recommendations for U.S. Policy Policy Brief. Inter American Dialogue. By Michael Shifter
Program Director and Senior Fellow
Dialogue. (Testimony prepared for
Hearing of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, House Committee on
International Relations (June 25, 1997).
States: Post-Cold War U.S. security interests in Central America By W. Frick
Curry. From Center for International Policy. 12/01/1995.
Other Documents: Security in Latin America.
Centroamericana de Justicia (Central American Court of Justice) Documents.
Reunión de CSJ de Centroamérica San Pedro Sula, Cortés,
Honduras 13 - 16 de Agosto de 1998 “Ninth Reunion of the Supreme Courts of
Justice of Central America in San Pedro Sula, Cortés, Honduras, 13-16 August
1998”. Official minutes.
de Tegucigalpa a la Carta de la Organización de Estados Centroamericanos
(ODECA) “Tegucigalpa Protocol of the Chart of ODECA –Organization
of Central American States-“.
de La Corte Centroamericana de Justicia Estatus of the Central
American Court of Justice.
General de La Corte Centroamericana de Justicia Regulations of the
Central American Court of Justice.
de Sede entre La Corte Centroamericana de Justicia u El Gobierno de La República
de Nicaragua Headquarters Agreement between the Central American
Court of Justice and the Government of hte Republic of Nicaragua.
de Procedimientos Proceeding norms.
de Adquisiciones Acquisition norms.
Unión Centroamericana: ¿Confederación, Federación o qué?
“Central American Union: Confederation, Federation, or What?”, by Lorenzo
Hernández García. The author
addresses the criticisms against the integration organs and provides an
assessment of what Central American integration intends to be.
contra la Integración Centroamericana “Attack
Against Central American Integration”, by Aldo Díaz Lacayo.
Globalization and neoliberal reforms have pushed Central American
integration back in time. Anti-Central
American pressures are converging, pushed by the international financial
institutions, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the anti-integrationist,
anti-Central American culture of Costa Rica, promoted through extra-subregional
Cumbre sin Mira ni Sueños “A
Summit Without Looks nor Dreams”, by José Salomón Delgado.
The waste of money and lack of economic efficiency of the Central
American integration institutions provides a disincentive for real integration.
Dedos de un Mismo Puño" “We
Are Fingers of the Same Fist”, by Walter Lacayo Guerra. The president of the
Central American Court of Justice denounces the lack of publicity the Central
American Court of Justice has among citizens.
He warns that Central American citizens should be made aware of the fact
that they can appeal to the Central American Court when they believe that their
individual rights are threatened by the process of integration.
This way, integration would receive a big boost.
Literal F) del Articulo 22 del Estatuto de La Corte Centroamericana
“Literal F) of Article 22
of the Estatute of the Central American Court”, by AdolfoLeón Gómez. This article contains two attributions of competence: othe
first, to know the conflicts among powers, and the second, to correct the
violation of judicial sentences.
Consulta Judicial en La Integración “The
Judicial Consult of Integration”, by AdolfoLeón Gómez.
The Central American Court of Justice is: permanent Tribunal (based on
its functioning), international Tribunal (because it can address conflicts among
states), arbitration Tribunal, Tribunal for constitutional conflicts, and it may
intervene in cases of violation of judicial sentences.
It may also propose projects of uniform and integration law, and it is
mainly a Tribunal for consultations about the proper application and
interpretation of Integration and Communitarian Law.
Corte de Managua “The
Court of Managua”, by AdolfoLeón Gómez.
This article reviews the functions, history and antecedents of the
Central American Court of Justice.
(Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales – Regional
Coordinator of Economic and Social Research).
CRIES is a network of centers that conduct research on Central American
and Caribbean topics. Its main goal
is to contribute to a model of equitable and sustainable social development for
the countries and territories of the Great Caribbean.
Social y Gobernabilidad en Nicaragua 1990-1996 By Elvira
Cuadra Lira, Andrés Pérez Baltodano, and Ángel Saldomando (February 1998).
“Social Order and Governability in Nicaragua 1990-1996” is an
analysis of the problem of social order and security from several theoretical,
historical, and institutional perspectives.
The authors argue that the problem of security is the problem of its
social construction. It is the
problem of the creation and reproduction of life in society.
From this perspective, crisis endangers the viability of national
societies. The main goal of the
authers is to contribute to the exploration of Nicaragua’s limitations and
opportunities to develop fair and democratic structures of social order.
Transición Política y Reconversión Militar en Nicaragua, 1990-1995
By Roberto J. Cajina (April 1997). “Political
Transition and Military Reform in Nicaragua, 1990-1995” is part of a larger
regional project of historian Roberto J. Cajina to analyze the most relevant
factors of the political transition of Nicaragua between 1990 and 1995. The
author looks at issues like the transformation of the Popular Sandinista Army
(Ejército Popular Sandinista – EPS) into a national and professional army, as
well as the episodes and course of the negotiations among several national and
international actors, to try to secure advantageous positions in a period of
Violencia social en Centroamérica In September 1997 CRIES
organized a project called “Governability and Security” to initiate research
in the field of governability, starting with the analysis of situations of
domestic violence and insecurity in four Central American countries, as well as
the relationship between security and democratic governability in those
countries. To achieve that goal,
the project was divided into three stages:
analysis of the violence in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and
Nicaragua, to identify regional trends of behavior.
This document, published in January 1999, is the result of the first
Fundación Arias (Arias
Foundation) Documents. The Arias
Foundation for Peace and Human Progress is a non-profit organization devoted to
the construction of fairer and peaceful societies in Central America.
a la Seguridad en Centroamérica: ¿Se Justifican las Respuestas Militares?
“Treats to Security in Central America: Are Military Responses Justifiable?”
by Arnoldo Brenes. The post-Cold
War has created a new concept of security.
The main security priority is no longer the protection of state
sovereignty and territorial unity, but the protection of individual subjects.
Mundial para el Control de Armas Livianas Comienza a Tomar Forma “World
Coalition for Control of Light Weapons is Gaining Shape”, by Christopher
Nee, Greg Puley y Carlos Walker. This
article reviews the efforts undertaken by some individuals, NGOs, and
governments to restrict the trade of light weapons.
de Conducta y el Comercio Legal de Armas Livianas
“Codes of Conduct and Legal Trade of Light Weapons”, by Greg
Puley. The recent adoption by the
European Union of a code of conduct regarding the trade of light weapons leads
the author to consider the impact that codes of conduct may have in the control
of this type of trade.
About the Juridical Framework for Non-Profit Organizations in Central America:
Comercio de Armas y los Derechos Humanos “The Trade of Weapons and Human
Rights”, by Arnoldo Brenes. Brenes
argues that gun trafficking is directly or indirectly responsible for several
violations of human rights. Since
it is normally very difficult for the international community to intervene in a
state where human rights violations are occurring, the author recommends to
fight gun smuggling and contraband as an effective way of prevention against
human rights violations.
Desmilitarización Total Como un Nuevo Paradigma de Seguridad en Centroamerica
“Total Demilitarization as a New Security Paradigm in Central America”, by
Arnoldo Brenes. The author reviews
contemporary issues of security in Central America and concludes than rather
than discussing the need to abolish armies, the debate should be about the
process to guarantee the successful abolition of that institution.
He makes some policy recommendations.
resolutions adopted by Central American governments.
for Children and Teen-Agers (Honduras)
of Compulsory Military Service
Law of the Environment and Natural Resources (Nicaragua)
and Negotiation of an Open Agenda for Education and Human Development
of the Plan of National Reconstruction (El Salvador)
of the Law of Free Export Zones and Fiscal Areas (El Salvador)
for a Law Against Home Violence (Costa Rica)
of a Coordinating Committee to Stop the Impact of Uncontrolled Banana Expansion
Experiment to Reform the Law of the Forests (Costa Rica)
and Execution of a National Plan for Women and Development (Panama)
for Democracy (Belize)
· Organization of American States –OAS- Documents. More than fifty years ago - on April 30, 1948 - 21 countries of the hemisphere met in Bogotá, Colombia, to adopt the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), which affirmed their commitment to common goals and respect for each nation’s sovereignty. Since then, the OAS has expanded to include the nations of the Caribbean, as well as Canada.