The recent surge in military expenditure particularly Chile and Venezuela has led to fears that South America might be involved in an arms race. However most experts feel that in spite of existing regional differences what is going on is a modernization process of the Armed Forces arsenals which are rapidly becoming obsolete.
Mercosur presidential summit which begins Tuesday does not have much to show besides an unfinished agenda, pending proposals and a list of issues that if openly debated can prove explosive for an already anemic trade group.
Uruguay's last military dictator, former General Gregorio Alvarez, was charged Monday with the forced disappearance of political prisoners. Human rights activists who have long campaigned for his prosecution cheered on the news and the country's trade union confederation called for a march in support of democracy in downtown Montevideo.
British Defence Minister Baroness Taylor announced earlier this month a £35m (70 million US dollars) major upgrade to Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has formally received a new draft constitution, ahead of two referendums due on its reform measures.
Proposals to cut the time tourists from outside the EU can stay in the UK from six months to three are expected to be announced by ministers this week.
The Argentine government yesterday said that the report presented by US prosecutors, linking the suitcase full of cash that came from Venezuela with Cristina Fernández's presidential campaign, is part of an operation against Argentina, while US officials said the case should not affect the bilateral relationship.
Bolivia put its armed forces on alert Thursday ahead of a threatened move towards autonomy by half the country's provinces, Defence Minister Walker San Miguel said, according to the daily La Prensa.
Facing the first allegation within days after becoming the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner strongly denied U.S. charges that Venezuela tried to illegally influence her election campaign.
The 800,000 dollars cash suitcase scandal extending from Miami to Caracas and Buenos Aires could send three Venezuelans and a Uruguayan, if convicted, to a US federal prison for up to ten years and a 250.000 US dollars fine.