A New Standard for Security

It’s time for Canada to follow Latin America’s lead

After years of neglect, the Canadian government seems to be ratcheting up international cooperation with its Latin American counterparts. The increase in diplomatic overtures is motivated by the promise of forging new trade relationships and enhancing existing ties, but also by the apparent continent-wide consequences of organized crime and drug trafficking. While an “Americas Strategy” was launched in 2007, the government only recently started matching its rhetorical commitments with action. The Foreign Minister has already made two trips to Latin America in 2013, before and after the Prime Minister’s visit in May. As the many press releases on the most recent visit make clear, strengthening regional and thereby hemispheric security – especially support for more law and order – is at the center of Canada’s renewed engagement with the region.

Canada’s ambitions on this front are lofty, but not matched by adequate investment. Since 2009, Canada’s flagship security program – the so-called Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) – has allocated just $15 million a year for all of Latin America and the Caribbean. (It is rather more difficult to determine Canada’s precise development aid portfolio for Latin America.) SEE MORE…

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