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4) Certain strategies have been used to try to boost the well-being of small farmers in Latin America. Rural poverty remains a major problem for much of the region. One of these has been the transfer from traditional crops (sugar, coffee, bananas) to non-traditional agricultural exports (NTAEs) such as tropical fruits, vegetables and flowers (Klak 1999, p115). Though useful in some areas, the NTAEs have not been a sweeping solution to rural poverty for small scale producers, largely due to highly competitive markets, costs of production and transportation, and the need for high levels of pesticides for these specialised crops (Klak 1999, p115). Likewise, as we have seen, the redistribution of land has often been limited, or when it is done does not necessarily produce viable farming communities, e.g. in Mexico and Brazil. In the end, agricultural exports remains highly competitive and do not automatically guarantee social stability for small farmers.

5) The ongoing problem of drugs, including growing, production, taxing, export of the product, and the related issues of political violence, corruption, money laundering, violent crime, and policing. This is a destabilising factor for the Andean nations, as well for Mexico, Brazil and Haiti. To date, the market for drugs remains robust, and policing often simply moves the problem to another part of the hemisphere. Likewise, the militarisation of the response to this problem begins to look like another round of counter-insurgency warfare in Colombia, and can also draw in nations along the Amazonian border into a military response to the problem (see lectures 7 and 10). There has been a trend for the militarisation of social problems in some of these countries, at first through use of armed forces first against Communism, then against the drug problem, and most recently against the threat of terrorism.

6) Though defence spending has dropped through much of the region, this military option has meant that the appropriate role for armed forces has not yet been fully defined (see lecture 10). U.S. military support and training for Latin America armies in the past has tended to compound this problem, while Argentinian moves for a more cooperative defence system in the southern cone of South America has not yet emerged as a successful policy (see Pion-Berlin 2000). The Southern Cone, and Latin America as a whole, have not yet emerged as a coordinated Security Community that has secure prospects of peaceful transition, though the southern states are sometimes viewed as a nascent or emerging zone of Cooperative Security (see Tickner & Mason 2003).

7) The environmental record for Latin America is also extremely mixed. Despite increased social awareness, some slowing of the impact on the Amazon forest and improved management of preservation areas, as well as some effort at resource planning in Chile, Latin American farming and production has not yet moved to an environmentally sustainable mode. Long term damage to urban and rural environments will constitute a major remediation cost to these societies in the future (for the impact of new farming methods on deforestation levels, see Klepeis & Vance 2003). Likewise, provision of simple necessities such as clean water and sanitation remains

Lecture 12

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