According to the latest report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, Brazil leads Latin America in military spending having totaled US$ 27.1 billion in 2009, followed by Colombia facing an armed guerrilla movement allied with drug cartels and Chile, rich in copper resources.
Brazil, which last year increased military spending 16% is followed by Colombia with US$ 10.05 billion and an 11% jump over 2008 and Chile, US$ 5.7 billion in spite of having dropped 5% compared to 2008, because of the lower copper prices.
In Chile military procurement by law is tied to the international price of copper, the country’s main export commodity.
Mexico figures in fourth place with US$ 5.5 billion, 11% higher, as a direct consequence of the internal ferocious fighting against the drug cartels, says SIPRI.
Venezuela comes in fifth place with US$ 3.25 billion, having appropriated last year 25% less than in 2008.
Argentina comes in a distant sixth position with 2.6 billion USD, 5% less that in 2008, and ahead of Ecuador with 1.8 billion (up 18%) and Peru, 1.5 billion USD (up 8.3%) Uruguay with 496 million USD recorded the greatest increase in military spending compared to 2008 with a jump of 24%.
Regarding Cuba there is no fresh data but in 2008, military expenditure was estimated in US$ 2.177 billion.
Comparing current expenditure with those a decade ago, Ecuador leads in military expenditure increase; 241%; Colombia, 111%; Chile, 48%; Uruguay, 41%; Brazil, 39%; Mexico, 35% and Venezuela, 27%.
Military expenditure as a GDP percentage has Colombia ranked first with 3.7% and Chile two tenth below; Ecuador, 2.8%; Brazil, 1.5%; Venezuela, 1.4% and Uruguay, 1.3%.
However compared to other regions of the world Latin America’s has a modest military spending: according to SIPRI, Africa figures with 27.4 billion USD; Asia and Oceania, 208 billion; North America, 684 billion; Europe, 424 billion and Middle East 97 billion.